If you are new to Athletes' Angels you may have a few questions. We’ve tried to answer some of the most obvious ones below and to give you a feel for what it’s like to work with Athletes’ Angels. For any further questions we can help with, please email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org
How long has Athletes’ Angels been around and what does it do?
For almost 11 years we’ve been working at outdoor sports and endurance events all over the UK and abroad. Our very first events were in Scotland, supporting charity endurance races in the mountains of the Highlands. Since then we’ve grown to become the UK’s largest provider of event specific therapists in the outdoor endurance world.
Our main goal is to support athletes and event participants in reaching their goals. We do this by providing trained therapists to work at a whole range of different events – from charity fundraising endurance races in the wilds of Scotland, to city centre marathons, cross continent record breaking events and extreme polar expeditions.
Who works with Athletes' Angels?
People like you! We are now a group of hundreds of physio and massage therapists who enjoy working at sports and endurance events in amazing and inspiring locations. Typically, most of our therapists are working in clinics, hospitals or privately, and some are students. They have a wide range of expertise and experience and include physiotherapists, massage therapists, sports therapists, osteopaths and podiatrists.
Our events provide the opportunity for additional paid work, mostly at weekends, which is great fun as part of a team, an excellent environment to develop skills and techniques whilst being truly rewarding.
What sort of events do Athletes’ Angels work at?
There are many different types of events that we are now involved with in the UK, Europe and indeed worldwide. Events can range in size from less than 100 participants up to nearly 5000. Some are of a single day duration, others 24 or 36 hours and some are even multi day.
Many of our events have a charity fundraising goal. As such participants are highly motivated to achieve their goals and we as therapists play an important role in that. Events we regularly work at include Maggie's Monster Bike & Hike, the Rob Roy Challenge, the Edinburgh Marathon, the London Marathon, the Great North Run, Land’s End to John O’Groats cycles and the Great Artemis Kindrochit Quadrathlon.
We also support world record breaking events, extreme expeditions and ultrathon endurance events. Recently we provided full physio and therapist support for Mark Beaumont's world record breaking epic cycle around the world and the Home Expedition's incredible running of the Silk Route in 2011.
The Athletes’ Angels office team work closely with the event organisers pre event in planning and preparing all the logistics for Athletes’ Angels involvement. We’ve built up considerable expertise in how to compile and deploy therapist teams to maximise their effectiveness for athletes.
What is it like to work at an event?
Every experience will be slightly different depending on which event you're working at.
Our shifts at events are usually 8 hours long. You will be met at an event by one of our ever welcoming, friendly and helpful Athletes Angels’ Event Managers. You will be fully briefed on what is expected of you and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions that you have.
You will then be shown to where you are working. Typically you will be in a group of therapists located out on the course somewhere, or at the finish line. On events you’ll often find yourself working in places such as a village hall, a marquee or if it’s a sunny day there may be the chance to work outside. It will probably also be a feeding stop, or check in location for participants so you will find there are lots of people around and it’s usually a very buzzy atmosphere.
Once you know where you're setting up then you will wait for the athletes to start filtering through. The co-ordinator in charge of the team will triage the participants and send them over to you whenever you are free (always let the co-ordinator know when you become free).
Depending on the event you may be giving just 5 minute massage treatments or perhaps something a bit longer, up to 15 minutes. Usually the participants will still have more of the event to complete so it will be up to you to determine what is appropriate for them at that point. Some may just need a quick general massage, others may present with specific requirements. Being flexible and ready for the unexpected is all part of the life of an Angel!
We ask that all therapists work within their own capabilities. If there is something you are unsure about, just ask one of the many therapists around you. We have a multi-disciplinary team approach so there is always a wide range of knowledge and skills at each event so don't be afraid to ask - it's the best way to learn!
Many of our events are 24-hour endurance events. Working through the night can be an amazing experience. You will feel a real sense of camaraderie both with your fellow therapists and with the participants. Time usually goes quickly as there will be a steady flow of clients. Rest periods are a great opportunity to take advantage of the event catering!
Your Event Manager will ensure that all therapists are rested on rotation and as required. We always have a large enough team in place to cover. It’s important to keep your energy levels up during these events, so do rest when you feel you have to. Just let your Event Manager know that you need a break.
Many of the events finish with a party or ceilidh to which you are most definitely invited. We highly recommend staying – there’s always plenty of food, lots of fun and usually way too much dancing!!
So come along, bring a tent, massage some folk and enjoy yourself
How do I get involved with Athletes' Angels?
All therapists are welcome to join Athletes’ Angels. We ask you to complete our registration form online (accessed by the Join Group green button to the right of this page ). You’ll need to be insured and we’ll ask for details of your professional qualifications. Our annual membership is only £35 (£30 for anyone who registers before 28th February 2013) and this gives you access to work at any of the events.
Further to feedback from participants in 2012, we now ask that all therapists who are not qualified in massage (physios, student physios, sports therapists, osteos) have a minimum of one day of massage training or equivalent training/experience which must be noted on the application form. Much of the work that we do at events is soft tissue techniques to allow participants to continue along the route (as well as treating injuries) and we require all our therapists to be comfortable and confident in these skills. If you have not previously undertaken any massage training you can check out our training courses here. Please note that it is not mandatory to have attended one of our courses; we only ask that you have undertaken equivalent, appropriate training or have equivalent, relevant experience. Knowledge of massage will also enhance your own experience at events; if you turn up to an event and are likely to spend much of your day providing massage to participants, you will get much more from the experience if you know what you're doing and are comfortable doing it rather than feeling lost and unsure. We want everyone to get as much as possible out of working with us. If you are unsure about these requirements, please email email@example.com
Once you are a member you choose which events you would like to work at. Browse through the Events schedule online, and choose where and when you would like to work. You can sign up for each event online.
Before each event our office team will have been working closely with the event organisers on the logistics. All the information you need will be sent by email to you, so that on the day you just need to turn up with your equipment, ready to work. Everything else will be in place.
You can find out more about how to join Athletes' Angels here.
Do I need to provide my own table, pillows, towels, oil etc?
We would prefer if you are able to provide your own massage table as we only have a limited supply. However we can sometimes help out if this is a problem. Just let us know and we'll see what we can do.
You must provide your own pillows, towels and massage oil as these are not provided by us. As participants are often dirty, we would advise that you bring old towels, preferably in dark colours.
What experience do I need?
We aim to position you into the right job, appropriate to your skill level and insurance cover. The event descriptions will explain what qualifications you need for each individual event. This starts at our large events where we can supervise students through to world record expeditions where we would recruit a highly skilled and specialised physiotherapist or sports therapist who is comfortable in that role. Note: If you are starting off with us as a student today, we aim to teach and support you in this field, so there is every reason that in ten years time - you could be working on an expedition too. Please see the note above about massage experience.
What will I be paid?
We pay all therapists for working at events unless otherwise stated on the event calendar (occasionally we will provide a voluntary service but no therapist has to commit to this). To find out about rates of pay please have a look at the relevant event entry on this Events page for information. There is an entry for each event which tells you about the event, the location and rates of pay. We update these pages as soon as we have the information available.
Rates of pay are determined by the budget available from the event organisers. This will usually be the corporate sponsor or the charity beneficiary. The money they make available for paying therapists all goes to you. Athletes’ Angels are paid a separate fee for their planning and logistical work in conjunction with the organisers.
How will I be paid?
We pay everyone within 4 weeks of an event and all payments are direct to each therapist's bank account by online banking.
How do I pay Athletes' Angels for courses or membership? Online: You can pay for membership on the 'Buy Me' page. For courses you can also pay on the 'Courses' page.
Cheque: You can make cheques payable to 'Athletes' Angels Ltd' and send to Athletes' Angels, Morven, Taybridge Road, Aberfeldy, PH15 2BH.
Bank Transfer: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for our bank details.
Do I provide my own transport?
Yes – you are are responsible for your own transport to and from the events unless otherwise stated on the website. We do find though that many therapists link up together for car shares over the season. You’ll find our Forum on this site a good place to organise that, or via our Facebook page.
If you are working on an expedition then transport is usually provided or you are given travel expenses to cover costs if using your own vehicle.
Can Athletes' Angels help with transport if I don't have my own car?
We actively encourage car sharing for the purposes of preserving the planet and saving you all some money so please let us know if you are happy to give anyone a lift or if you need a lift. We can help with this, but the best place to organise this is on the Forum pages of this site, or via our Facebook pages.
Please do ensure you think carefully about the location of an event - only put your name down if you are sure you can get there. If you commit to working at an event and then decide it is too costly or tricky to get there, let us know as soon as possible. Please do not wait until the last minute to realise that the event is too far away and that you have to cancel due to problems with travel.
Will my travel costs be covered?
Some of the events on the calendar have a small amount of travel expenses built in to the fee but generally this is not the case and you will cover your own travel costs which is why we aim to help share the costs with other therapists.
As stated above, if you are working on an expedition then transport is usually provided or you are paid travel expenses if using your own vehicle.
Will accommodation be provided?
Some events have basic accommodation provided. This information will be on the event page on the event calendar. This sometimes may just be a campsite or hostel-style accommodation and you may need to bring your own tent or sleeping bag. Sometimes you will be able to sleep in the tent in which you were working. Again, it totally depends on the event and its set-up. All info is provided prior to each event but feel free to ask questions about any events you're particularly interested in.
Many therapists who plan on staying overnight bring a tent to camp in. Remember that the events are typically in amazing locations and provide a great opportunity for a night out under the stars with a good crowd of people.
If you are working on an expedition, accommodation will be provided for you.
Are student physios able to work at Athletes' Angels events?
At most of our events we can arrange supervision for student physios, as long as they are a CSP member and have appropriate massage training/experience. If supervision is not possible then we will state that on the event information on the event page. If you are in doubt then please just ask.
Are student sports therapists able to work at Athletes' Angels events?
Student Sports Therapists can be supervised at bigger events by a fully qualified Sports Therapist or by a fully qualified Physiotherapist. We will state whether supervision is possible on the event information page. Massage training/experience is necessary. If in doubt, please just ask.
Are Student Massage Therapists able to work at Athletes' Angels events.
Student Massage Therapists can be supervised at bigger events by a fully qualified Massage Therapist. We will state whether supervision is possible on the event information page. If in doubt, please just ask.
Can working at Athletes' Angels events contribute towards CPD hours/points?
The CSP have confirmed that, as Physios are responsible for their own CPD programmes, it is entirely up to the individual to decide whether their work at an event is eligible to be included in their file. Bearing in mind that working at our events will give many physios the opportunity to gain hands on experience with acute injuries then this is definitely appropriate for CPD programmes. Each event should be a learning experience. We are happy to provide CPD certificates for events - please just ask.
This is something you would need to check with your own organisation as each organisation views this differently. Many therapists find that they learn a huge amount from working with other disciplines (physios, sports therapists, osteopaths) and therefore their work at events can go towards their own personal CPD. We think that each event is a definite plus in terms of your learning and growth as therapists and, therefore, they are suitable for CPD.
Does attending an Athletes' Angels course contribute to CPD hours/points?
As with working at our events, because physios are responsible for their own CPD programmes then it is up to the individual to decide whether attending a course is appropriate for their CPD programmes. As our courses are about further education and adding to your skills, then they should be included in CPD programmes.
If you are a member of the SMTO then our courses can definitely be included in your CPD hours as we have been directly accredited by them. Our massage courses are in conjunction with Scottish Massage Schools, Scotland's top provider of massage training.
If you are with any other organisation then please check with them direct and let us know how you get on.
Physiotherapists and student physios must be members of the CSP. This provides appropriate insurance cover for working with us. Fully qualified physiotherapists must also be HPC registered. Many students are unsure about the situation with cover from the CSP and therefore, each year we check with the CSP that students are eligible to work with us. They have clarified that working with Athletes' Angels is completely allowed as long as students are supervised by a fully qualified physio. You can find further clarification here.
Massage Therapists must have full insurance. We work closely with SMTO and recommend Balens if you are looking for insurance. See www.balens.co.uk for further information.
Sports Therapists, Osteopaths & Podiatrists must have full insurance. This usually comes with affiliation to an officially recognised organisation.
If you have any other enquiries which are not listed here – please do get in touch with us, we are here to help you! Email Caroline on email@example.com
Testimonial I have worked with Athletes Angels for over 8 years now, and what a fantastic company to be part of! I was just starting my own complementary therapy business when I joined and I was given the opportunity to travel to some of the most amazing parts of the UK and Europe too. I worked doing therapies that I love and promoting my own business at the same time - just what you need when you’re starting out. The people that I've worked with, the other therapists and the participants in the events we cater for are just amazing and it’s all raising money for such worthwhile charities. Athletes Angels are great; they really look after their therapists and know how to have good fun too. Dee Taylor - Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, Massage Therapist (Dee Taylor Therapies)