carnegieXchange: School of Sport

Support for spinal cord and brain injured rugby players

Carnegie Great Outdoors (CGO) have delivered 3 day supportive courses for spinal cord and brain injured rugby players since 2017 on behalf of the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) Injured Players Foundation (IPF).

The injured players foundation members at the centre

On the course, clients of the IPF and their partners or personal assistants took part in a series of activities designed specifically to enable those with life-changing injuries to participate. The numerous adaptive adventurous activities & sports included archery, a 60ft rope climb, tennis and various sports hall games to engage the mind as well as the body. These adaptive sports are utilised as an experiential context to teach various aspects of personal growth and development by the CGO staff.

Alongside the activities, the groups also took part in personal coaching sessions led by the CGO staff. In recent years health coaching has become a widely used approach to support individuals initiate behaviour changes and improve elements of physical and/or mental health status. In the context of these IPF courses, the health coaching approach is the central plank in delivering a participant-centered experience aimed at encouraging and equipping participants to improve their health and promote self-management.

The effectiveness of attending the courses in positively influencing aspects of physical and mental well-being was researched by staff from Leeds Beckett University and lead by Dr Chris Kay. When attending a course, participants are requested to contribute to a series of research surveys. They are then invited to contribute additional data two months later. Data contributed by the participants and their influence attribution information will be published to evidence the influence courses have  participants’ recovery, personal growth and how it plays a part in shaping their future.

Dr Chris Kay

Senior Research Fellow / Carnegie School Of Sport

Dr Chris Kay is a Senior Research Fellow working with Carnegie Great Outdoors. He predominantly works with wounded, injured and sick military personnel on a project called Battle Back. This is delivered and researched by our staff on behalf of The Royal British Legion. At The Battle Back Centre, week long courses are delivered that encompass adaptive adventurous training and personal development for military personnel who are recovering from injury or illness. Chris oversees the longevity research which is conducted in line with these courses, gathering information to understand what part these experiences have in facilitating the participant's recovery.

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