The Team Behind the Team – Dr Mark Ridgewell
Sport Wales’ consultant doctor, Dr Mark Ridgewell has been practicing since 1986 with a history in sports medicine that spans a varied combination of sports.
From athletics, swimming, cycling, disability sport, gymnastics and shooting, Dr Ridgewell provides medical support to some of Wales’ most high profile athletes including Jazz Carlin, Becky James, Nathan Stephens and David Davies.
Dr Ridgewell says;
“I assess and advice athletes on a whole range of injuries and illness that could potentially effect or impair their ability to train and perform. I advise on treatment and rehabilitation, give anti-doping advice and general support.”
After developing an interest in Sports Medicine almost immediately after qualifying as a doctor in 1986, Mark soon went on to complete a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Bath and also passed the Scottish Royal Colleges Diploma in 1999. He has been working with elite and high performance ever-since.
His CV includes roles at Swansea Rugby Club and Wales U18 and U21 rugby teams, Chief Medical Officer roles for the England Cricket Board, the Osprey’s and the Football Association of Wales and Dr Ridgewell has also travelled to two Commonwealth Games as Team Doctor for Team Wales.
One of the athletes Dr Ridgewell works with on a regular basis is Commonwealth bronze medal-winning swimmer Georgia Davies. She says;
“Everyone who competes at a high level wants to make sure they do everything they possibly can to become better. In swimming it can come down to 100ths and 10ths of a second so if anyone can do anything to improve my performance then I’m definitely open to taking that on board.
“We’re really lucky to have Mark as our doctor. We work on preventative things as swimming is a non-contact sport, so it’s more about getting ill rather than injured, especially as we’re training at such a high level and for so long each day. We take vitamins and supplements and he’s great at recommending everything. And also we have blood tests to make sure our iron levels are right, so it’s great to have someone who understands about sport and obviously about medicine and can combine the two.”
Five members of staff from the Sport Wales Institute are being followed by BBC Radio Wales to look at the work going on behind the scenes in the build up to London 2012.
Find out more about Mark Ridgewell and the work he does with Georgia Davies and other athletes here; their interview is at 2hr 50 into the programme.