An update from Prof Webborn
Twenty-five years! One quarter of a century! It is incomprehensible to think that Sportswise started twenty-five years ago on the 30th of July 1997. It’s really difficult to look ahead that far and certainly we were not doing that when I set up the clinic with fellow colleague and physiotherapist, Carol Russell.
Carol had just returned from doing her Masters degree in sports medicine in Dublin to be told at Eastbourne DGH that they were closing the sports injury clinic! She approached me about combining our skills and efforts to approach the University about setting up a sports injury clinic. Carol was already providing physiotherapy for students on the sport science and PE courses. And so it was that we were offered a couple of rooms in the Sunnymead building (now flats) in Gaudick Road. Sadly Carol passed away in 2001 and it was left to me to build the team and to see the transition to our current premises.
I’m proud to say that over these years the reputation for the clinical services provided is unparalleled in the region, and this is down to all the staff, clinical and administrative. Sportswise has treated generations of family members and made friends in the community and is rightly known for the compassionate way in which it treats its patients.
The next phase of the journey for Sportswise will now be led by Jo and Paul Aston, who took over control of the clinic in May. That is not to say that I am leaving, as I will continue my regular clinical sessions, but it does relieve me of the burden of the management of the practice as the number of my grandchildren grow (now seven!). Despite the knowledge that the University will be closing the Eastbourne campus from the 2024-2025 academic year we truly believe that the future is bright and we remain committed to staying in Eastbourne. There are several opportunities but we will have time to reflect and choose the best option for staff and patients. I’m delighted that Jo and Paul have taken on the leadership of the clinic and it is they who will be writing this note in a further twenty-five years!
We are grateful to Nick for his kind words and for this exciting opportunity to lead Sportswise into the next twenty-five years. It's a privilege to take the helm of such a highly regarded regional and community service and we very much look forward to continuing Nick's legacy. Having worked as physiotherapists for ten years at Sportswise, we recognise the essence of what has been established and we wish for this to continue to evolve. Although we are all saddened about the closure of the university site, we have to see it as an opportunity to develop our services when we relocate to new premises in Eastbourne. We would love to see an improved rehabilitation space from which we can run exercise classes along with more clinical space to meet the needs of our increasing client base.
We look forward to sharing this next chapter with the wonderful team at Sportswise and the patients who have supported us and have sought our services throughout the years.
Paul and Jo Aston