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Northumbria Sport : Strength and Conditioning


Northumbria University offer a treatment and rehabilitation service for selected performance athletes and teams based at the Sport Central. Our expert sports physiotherapist work closely with our S&C coaches to understand the causes of injuries to ensure they are able to identify, treat and eliminate sport related injuries.

Whether you are a performance athlete or take part in social sport Northumbria Sport have an in-house massage service that offers sports massages.

 Our programme includes

  • Physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation support for scholarship athletes
  • Physiotherapy screenings for scholarship athletes
  • Discounted physiotherapy at Physiotherapy Matters
  • In-house sports massage

Meet the experts

Salwa Bowen – Lead Physiotherapist

Background: Salwa is a highly specialised practitioner in physiotherapy with over 22 years of extensive experience working in the professional sport industry.

Since qualifying in 1996 with a BSc(Hons) in Physiotherapy, Salwa Bowen joined the professional support team at the Newcastle Falcons Academy whilst continuing to undertake primary, musculoskeletal care within the NHS.

In 2002 a full-time role with Newcastle Falcons 1st team was offered and accepted which coincided with the most successful period in the team’s history. Huge knowledge of the elite game was gained during this period, a period in which the Newcastle Falcons had international players of the caliber and world class reputations of Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Burke and Carl Hayman.

In 2012, promotion followed to become the Head of Medical at the Newcastle Falcons. The professional challenges of this post were significant and managing the whole range of support services within the medical team was demanding. It was during the many years at the Newcastle Falcons and being involved with sport at the highest international levels that an understanding of what it takes to deliver results was experienced.

Salwa, since 2013 has worked as the Lead Physiotherapist and a consultant in sport injuries with the semi-professional national & international athletes at Northumbria University. Sports ranging from Volleyball, Basketball, Rugby (men & women), Netball Super League, Football, Aquatics & Athletics. Salwa has also worked with Newcastle Eagles from 2013 until the 2015 season managing their acute and long term chronic injuries. Through her work at Northumbria University she has also gained the experience of working with disability athletes, helping them gain their confidence and managing them through their rehab journey back to performance and competition. Salwa since 2013 has worked with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), through a process of screening for injury prevention, managing any acute injuries, rehabilitation and the overall medical management back to performance.

Salwa has a huge interest in research in sport medicine topics and sport science, hence her consultancy role at Northumbria University. She also enjoys working with the Physiotherapy students, helping them gain confidence in the Musculoskeletal assessment of sport injuries and in improving their manual therapy techniques. In addition to teaching and presentation work in the sports medicine field.

Salwa is an accredited member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapist in Sport and Exercise Medicine-an internationally recognised specialist group of Physiotherapist working in Sport. She is also a member of the Aquatic Therapy Association of Chartered Physiotherapist and is due to commence her training with the Sports Medicine Ultrasound Group (SMUG) next year. Her aspiration is to complete a fellowship or PhD programme in the Sports Medicine field.

Ben Sutton – Physiotherapist

Background: Ben is an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist starting his career in the NHS before working in private practice for the last 3 years. In 2015, Ben became the lead physiotherapist for the England Women’s Rugby League Team and has since taken on the role of Head of Physiotherapy at Newcastle Thunder Rugby League Club for the past 2 seasons. He has been the Northumbria University Rugby League physiotherapist since the 2016/17 season and has also been involved in the treating of scholars and students as well as working with other sporting clubs within Northumbria University. Ben is experienced and very passionate about treating a wide range of patients, proactively delivering a hands-on service and exercise-based rehabilitation, assessing and treating patients with sporting, not-sporting and work-related injuries.

Ben has excellent knowledge in treating patients including; muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, pre and post operation rehabilitation, postural issues, biomechanical injuries, traumatic and non-traumatic sporting injuries, and other musculoskeletal related conditions.

Ben’s aim is to return anyone to their full function. His focus being to identify the root cause and thereafter develop a treatment plan to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

Christina Finlay – Physiotherapist

Background: Christina has spent the past 6 years working across private practice, sport, occupational health and community NHS settings.  Christina has a vast depth of experience with men’s and women’s rugby. Alongside managing a busy case load in practice, she is currently in her fourth season with Tynedale RFC and also works as a contractor for the Scottish Rugby Union, specifically with Glasgow Academy and previously Newcastle Falcons Academy. She most recently has travelled to China and Hong Kong where she was touring with the Northumbria Women’s rugby team.  She has also worked internationally as a physiotherapist for the Falkland Islands at the Island games in Jersey in 2015 and then again in Gotland in 2017 and then also as part of the England Touch Medical Team at the European Championships this year and is to travel with them to the World Cup in Malaysia in 2019. Working in this environment has honed Christina’s skills in the management and treatment of acute sporting injuries which enables her to ensure that players rehabilitate from injury as quickly as possible.

Christina’s sporting interests also extend to rowing, netball and football where she has experience working with international athletes. She has just completed her Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Medicine from Leeds Beckett University during which she has been investigating injuries in rowers.  The common treatment modalities Christina uses incorporates manual therapy, exercise rehabilitation, taping and acupuncture, amongst others.

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