Physio job ‘fun and a new challenge’

New Otago Mitre 10 Cup physiotherapist Anne Wilson at Peter Johnstone Park this week. Photo:...
New Otago Mitre 10 Cup physiotherapist Anne Wilson at Peter Johnstone Park this week. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Anne Wilson is entering something of a man’s world but to her it is just another day at the office — and an exciting one at that.

Wilson (39) has just started as the physiotherapist for the Otago Mitre 10 Cup squad and is about to go deep into the world of rucks, breakdowns and tape.

But it is nothing new for Wilson, who has been in and around the game for much of her life.

She played rugby when at Dunstan High School and has worked with many teams over the years.

"I studied in Auckland and had lots to do with teams up there — at the Ponsonby club and some Samoan teams," she said.

"Then when I came back to Dunedin I did some work with Otago Maori and last year I worked with the Otago Spirit and that was a lot of fun."

As Otago’s longtime physiotherapist Ash Stiven has linked with a club in Japan for this season, the job opened up and Wilson was keen to take up the opportunity.

"I thought it would be fun and a new challenge. We are trying to do a bit more around the pre-hab work, which is working with the guys in how to train to prevent injuries when training and playing.

"I’m working with our strength and conditioning guy [Karl Bloxham] and we are trying to teach the guys ways to get better. Ways to get stronger and not be so susceptible to injuries.

"Things like having better neck strength which really helps with concussion, and getting your hamstrings more flexible which is vital for acceleration and speed work."

She had a background in mixed martial arts, meaning she was  fully aware of the intensity  brought to rugby.

As for being a woman, she said it was nothing different for the players or her.

"The boys are really respectful of me and and everyone is just pushing for the same goal. Being a woman is no different for anyone. There are a lot of women physios these days across all sports so it is just part if it now."

Wilson, who has a son Maia (10), said the job was a good chance to get outside, away from the office and it was busy throughout the week.

"I can’t wait for it to start really. You’re busy all the time, seeing to guys, treating injuries and getting guys ready to play."

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