SPORTS stars turned out for the official opening of a new physiotherapy centre that aims to help elite athletes to grassroots players through injury.
Former Middlesbrough and Manchester United footballer Gary Pallister and Pools defender Peter Hartley showed their support for the new Avondale Physiotherapy Clinic in Hartlepool.
Physiotherapists Tony Skedd and Ian Gallagher teamed up to open the new centre boasting top facilities at the Avondale Centre which is part of Dyke House Sports and Technology College.
Tony, 37, who took up physiotherapy after a five-year career with Pools in the 1990s, said: “We always said we would like to set up a clinic together, then a few months ago Dyke House school approached Ian to see if he would be interested in using the Avondale Centre.
“I went to see it and the facilities were fantastic.
“We have been treating Savannah Marshall and Amanda Coulson and Michael Hunter has been in to see us a few times.
“Gary Pallister said he thinks the facilities are really good.
“It is all geared towards not just elite athletes but grass roots sports and the whole community.”
As well as keeping the town’s top sports stars in shape, the centre is also working with amateur athletes.
Sunday morning football sides and youngsters from Pools Youth FC, St Francis and Hartlepool Catholic boxing club are benefiting from the facilities.
Ian, who works as the Hartlepool United’s physio, said he hopes his involvement will help strengthen the ties between the club and Dyke House and the wider community.
Facilities at the clinic include a gym and swimming pool, virtual spinning cycling treatment room and new astroturf pitch.
It does not just provide relief to sports players either, but also offers treatment for all ailments from work-related to car injuries as well.
Tony decided to launch the new clinic after a job as Glasgow Rangers football club’s suddenly fell through when they found themselves in financial trouble.
It will also work with local GP services and offer post graduate qualification in advanced athlete treament and manipulative therapy.