Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars

ULTIMATE WINDOWS-sponsored Billingham Stars can only take to the ice season after season with the help of dedicated off-ice personnel. Every single one of the Stars hockey family has a part to play in putting a competitive team out, perhaps none more so than our resident physio, Sadie Lee Pinchbeck.

Sadie has been looking after the senior Stars for some years now, attending practices and the bulk of the Stars games both home and away. She can be seen helping out at junior tournaments and is always ready to assist opposition players when Stars opponents do not have a physio of their own present. She also recently travelled out to the Czech Republic for the Ball Hockey World Championships with Great Britain as an integral part of the backroom staff.

Sadie is very much the 'unsung hero(ine)' of the Stars squad, dealing with the various knocks and niggles that occur every game and putting in place rehabilitation programmes for longer term injuries. Stars Media Team spoke to Sadie to find out more...

SMT: So you're back for another year with the Stars - what have you enjoyed the most so far?

SLP: It's been different to what I've been used to. I worked for a lot of years in rugby, I'd only ever seen one game of ice hockey when I watched JJ (James Flavell) play at University. There are different types of injuries and it took some getting used to the equipment the guys wear. With rugby the guys just wear shirts and shorts so you can see straight away what the score is, but with all the padding our lads wear it's sometimes not easy to tell what the problem might be.

SMT: What types of injuries have you faced looking after the Stars?

SLP: We've had quite a few concussions! Cuts and lacerations are quite common. I've had a fair few dislocated shoulders and broken faces - literally - so it's been quite intense.

SMT: You've been with us for a while now and had time to form a bond with the team. Does this help you to help them?

SLP: It helps massively - it was really difficult at first when I wasn't really sure who I was dealing with. It helps to know what medical history the players have, who might have an asthma attack for instance, and the longer I'm here the more I get to know everyone. It's a lot easier to treat someone when you know the type of thing you might be looking for, what might be going on, and it's easier to tell when someone is lying - saying that they're not hurt when they are! I do have to remind them sometimes that it's not about getting through that one game - it's about the rest of the season, it's about going to work in the morning, they all have lives outside of hockey and it's easy to forget that in the heat of a game.

SMT: Tell us about you when you're not in an ice rink...

SLP: I work a few days a week for the NHS doing mainly classes for things like spinal rehabilitation and ACL reconstruction. I work for myself privately travelling around people's homes seeing to injuries and the like. I have a lot of runners as clients as an example. I am also a part of the Team GB ball hockey set-up.
My private business offers services ranging from basic massage, taping and strapping, to assessing and diagnosing injuries, with advice and rehabilitation to follow. I now also offer needling, which some of the Stars have had!

NOTE: Sadie's business - SLP Sport & Exercise Therapy - can be contacted via Facebook. Click here to visit the SLP page.

SMT: We've got a long season coming up with more games than we've played in a long time. What do you expect to see on the treatment table?

SLP: That was my first thought when the 'merger' was announced - so many games! We are going to be tired, battered about and I expect to be a lot busier. I'm hoping the lads have realised this for themselves anyway and are putting in the necessary off-ice training in the gym, conditioning themselves in preseason, because it should be 'prehab before rehab'.

SMT: Do you feel that you are an integral part of the Stars team?

SLP: It does make me feel uncomfortable when I'm pushed to the front, like with the GB ball hockey medallists, because I'm not the one who does the skating. But I do know that some of the lads might not be playing a particular game if I wasn't involved. But I do love the game, I always enjoy myself and the lads are all lovely to me... most of the time! They all look after me, especially Allen (Flavell) and Terry (Ward), and I've got Charlie (Metcalfe) and Clare (Nertney) who are always there to give me that extra push when I'm feeling a bit low. I'm my own biggest critic and sometimes I panic that I'm not doing a good enough job, but Clare especially will always give me that push that I need to boost my confidence.

SMT: Thanks so much for your time Sadie, see you at practice very soon!

Stars Media Team Insider on Sadie:

"A huge unsung part of the off-ice staff, SLP is a reassuring presence at training and games for your Billingham Stars. Whether it's treating a serious injury on the ice (thankfully rare), giving advice on warm ups and cool downs, or preventative massage and treatments, Sadie is a huge part of the team. She has also represented GB as lead physio at Ball Hockey's junior world championships in Sheffield last year and last month travelled to Pardubice with the Men's and Women's GB teams as physio. It's always reassuring to see the luminous sneakers spring into action!"

Billingham Ice Hockey Club is delighted that Sadie will be back to support the team once again this season - welcome back Sadie and on behalf of the Stars thank you for all your efforts week after week!