Rydal Penrhos' Head of Athletic Development Mr Trickey gives a detailed account of his time with the England Touch Rugby squad at the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur:
We arrived in camp on Friday, and travelled to Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur for training days on the Saturday and Sunday, before the first day of the tournament on Monday.
I was based predominantly with the Women’s 35’s, the Men’s 35’s and the Men’s 45’s squads during the tournament, running warm ups and cool downs, but I ran pool recovery sessions, and pitchside hydration & cooling assistance for a variety of squads.
The conditions were extremely challenging, with the vast majority of the tournament being run on an extreme heat protocol, and play was suspended on three of the six days, once for heat (heat stress monitor read 51°C) and twice for lightning storms.
As a medical team we had to make sure that our cooling strategies were in place, and that each team was well provisioned with ice water, wet towels and edible ice.
All players were weighed before and after matches, and were then guided on how much sodium and water they’d need to consume to return to pre-match hydration. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience for me, as I’d never experienced conditions like it before, let alone been involved in a sporting tournament in such heat.
Due to the incredibly hard work of the players and coaches, as well as the Medical team in keeping them on the pitch, Team England managed to finish third overall behind Australia and New Zealand achieving Bronze medals in the Women’s 27’s and 35’s categories.
Our head coach also went out of his way to mention how impressed he was with the fitness levels of the players, and it was quite noticeable against certain countries that our physical conditioning was far superior, which we were particularly proud of as a Strength and Conditioning team.
In all it was an invaluable experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and I look forward to similar trips in the future, the next being a slightly cooler setting returning to Nottingham for the 2020 Euros next summer.