How do you know if you are seeing a therapist with a specialization in Sports Physiotherapy? There are over 600 therapists in BC who are members of the Sports Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA). Of those members, only a very small percentage can call themselves Sports Physiotherapists. Within British Columbia, there are less than 40 physiotherapists with their Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy. In order to become a Sports Physiotherapist, one must pass a series of written and practical exams, in addition to providing hundreds of hours of volunteer or paid work with sports teams, a portion of which must be with contact sports.
There are 2 levels within the education system of SPC: The first level is the Sports Physiotherapy Certificate. The second level is that of the Sports Physiotherapy Diploma. In order to be called a Sports Physiotherapist in Canada, one must achieve the Diploma level. To work at international events, including Olympics, Pan Am Games, Commonwealth Games and FISU Games, a therapist must have Diploma status within SPC, unless given special exception.
The BC section of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) is one way to find a Sports Physiotherapist near you. Look for Sports Physiotherapy Diploma or Certificate holders under the ‘Find a Physio’ tab on the BC Physiotherapy website (www.bcphysio.org). One of the few Diploma holders in the Tri-Cities is Director of Trailside, Kevin Stoll. Kevin is a former National Team physiotherapist for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Canadian Men’s Field Hockey Team, and is the current Head Physiotherapist for the Vancouver Stealth Lacrosse Team of the NLL. Trailside Director Francisco Gatchalian holds his Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy, and works with the New Westminster Hyacks Football Team, and has been involved extensively in the mountain biking community, as well as many other sports over his career.
Amongst our Trailside group of therapists, we have sports therapy experience at the local, provincial, national, international and professional levels of sport. Nearly all of our therapists are involved with sports coverage in our local communities. We treat athletes every day in our clinics, and we have the experience to help them get back to their chosen sport quickly and safely. Our experiences cover almost every sport imaginable, and we continue to strive towards furthering our skills and experiences. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, we’re here to help.