Former Dublin hurler Joey Bola...

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Former Dublin hurler Joey Boland using technology to rehab clients

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

2:55 PM - 18 Mar 2020



Joey Boland took the decision to close his sports physiotherapy clinic but he and his staff were determined to continue looking after their clients.

A member of the Dublin senior hurling panel that won a historic Leinster title in 2013, Boland set-up Sports Physio Ireland two years later and has continued to grow the business since he left the inter-county panel in 2018.

Boland knew that because of the government were advising people to practice social distancing, to help stop the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), they would have to shut down their clinic and gym in Dublin city centre.

"We had an emergency staff meeting at six o'clock on Sunday night and we decided that there is three options," Boland told Off The Ball.

"One is we stay open which we felt morally and socially was not acceptable.

"The second thing was we just close the doors and we apply for social welfare.

"The third option was, we become as agile as possible and we create something new and we just give it a go, what else are you supposed to do."

There are eight other staff working with Boland, including Moss Landman, the physio with the Dublin senior hurlers.

As well as providing physio care for the Dublin hurlers they look after the Na Fianna senior hurlers, Bective Rangers and C.U.S. Rugby.

They provide physio-led personal training and group training when a physio takes a group of 6 to 8 people and does regular training in the gym.

When you are unable to go within two metres of another person, as per the government's guidelines, providing those services becomes impossible.

"The rug is totally taken from underneath us and our clients are going mad at home," said Boland.

"They're like, weekend warriors, runners, people who like to go to the gym and obviously all your GAA players and rugby players."

And that is where the technology comes in.

Boland and his team are using various modes of communication to continue the rehabilitation work with their clients who may be stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

"If we already know the client, such as the Dublin players, we set up a video call," explained Boland.

"We get them to record themselves doing their rehab at home and they'll send it to us beforehand and we can screen-share and give them corrective tips during the call.

"Then towards the end of the call we will video the new series, the next level series of rehab and then Whats-App that to them and then again analyse that and give them pointers and feedback and what they've to do between now and next week, again with the screen-share so you can pause the video and give tips.

"It's all based on what they have access to at home. There's no point in me telling somebody they have to squat 200 kilos when they are at home!"

A lot of their clients may not have access to some of the gym equipment that is needed to continue their rehab work but they have been able to improvise.

"We provide online personalised strength and conditioning programmes so if somebody takes a picture or sends on a list of what's in their back garden or in their house, we will get them to send it on to us beforehand," said Boland.

"We'll design a personalised video for them, send it to them before the call and then on the call we screen-share and tell them exactly what they have to do over the next week or so and then we touch base again.

"We keep people doing specific stuff for them because the danger is that people are just going to start going online and doing random stuff which isn't suitable for what they need."

However Boland says that only ten percent of their clients are GAA and rugby players while the other ninety percent are people that do 5k runs, go hiking or play golf.

"That's why we're trying to develop this, to give people a guideline and a point of reference," added Boland who had this advice for anyone who is or may end up in self-isolation in the next few weeks.

"The most important thing is get a routine, get up and get your exercise done in your back garden or wherever and have something that you're following.

"And then you shower, you get dressed, you get into your specific work space and then you take your break and you go for your lunch and then you do it again and you might continue on with some other little bit of exercise in the evenings.

"People are going to run out of ideas if it's just left to yourself, so structure and exercise, for me, is going to be the key thing to get people through."

You can check out the full range of services on this link to the Sports Physio Ireland website.



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Covid-19 Dublin GAA GAA Hurling Joey Boland Sports Physio

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