This time of year captivates the interest of most Australian Sporting fanatics, with many late nights glued in front of the television to cheer on our fiercest competitors battle against the world’s best in arguably one of the most traditional and prestigious competitions in the world – Wimbledon.
This Wimbledon has a special feeling for new Geelong resident and Sports Physiotherapist Ben Herde, as it was only twelve months ago that he worked on the grounds of the sacred turf in SW19 for the famous two weeks in July.
Ben Herde is a Sports Physiotherapist who works for the ATP World Tour and has recently started clinics in conjunction with Corio Bay Health Group at Centre Court Indoor Tennis in North Geelong and Geelong Lawn Tennis Club. When asked about the new move, he described it as: ‘exciting to be able to have the opportunity to drive a clinic that allows me to do what I love: treating active bodies and working in an organization that will still enable to me to travel worldwide on the circuit for approximately ten weeks per year ’. Ben decided on the move (to part-time ATP Physiotherapist and launching a new clinic) as he wanted to still be involved in treating athletes and tennis players at the highest level but step away from the rigours of full-time travel. Geelong was an obvious place to set-up as it offers a great lifestyle in a beautiful city whilst still being close to amazing beaches and furthermore Ben is well supported by a great organization of the Corio Bay Health Group.
The Sports Physiotherapist is fairly nostalgic when he reflects on Wimbledon and how it’s different compared to the other tournaments he works at around the world. ‘It is difficult to describe, there is a definite sense of atmosphere in the grounds and surrounding Wimbledon Village. It’s so amazing it can give you goose-bumps. I think it is a combination of all the little things from the immaculately kept grounds, the finesse of the uniforms of all of the officials but above all I think it’s the tradition that makes everyone involved in the tournament excited to be part of the occasion’.
The responsibilities of an ATP World Tour Physiotherapist are very involved. The main priority is to be ready to respond to an athlete if they call you whilst they are on court. The players are allowed to see the physiotherapist for a three-minute medical time out if they have obtained an acute injury and it is deemed that the treatment is going to significantly help them. When the ATP Physiotherapists aren’t on court calls they are treating the players back in the locker rooms. The treatments in the rooms make up the majority of their day. The treatments vary from match preparation such as strapping and stretching to managing new and old injuries. They also help with their recovery and general maintenance of their bodies such as advice in the gym with their conditioning programs.
The job can lend itself to long days and be physically demanding, along with high levels of pressure and responsibility but says he wouldn’t have it any other way. He smiles as he says that he pinches himself with how privileged he is to work in a job that has you treating some of the greatest tennis players of all-time such as Federer, Djokovic and Nadal. Not to mention travel to very amazing places throughout the world and working with staff and players of varying ethnicities and cultures.
As far as who he thinks will win this year, he is fairly unbiased. ‘When treating the guys you get to know them all quite well and you are happy for them whoever ends up winning, I also need to be weary of being unbiased and try to avoid having favorites. At the moment though, it is probably the most open it has been for many years and it should be a really tightly contested slam’.
Ben is now treating at Corio Bay Health Group – North Geelong. The clinic is located at 1/3 Hepner Place, North Geelon; and Geelong Lawn Tennis Club, at 13 Sommers St, Belmont. To make an appointment or for any further queries please call Ben on ph. 0413761185.