May 15, 2020, by School of Medicine
Memories of Sports and Exercise Medicine
During these difficult times some of the founders and original students of the Sports and Exercise Medicine MSc have come together to share their memories of the course and the impact it had on their careers.
The MSc was launched in September 1990 by Professor Idris Williams and Professor Angus Wallace with support from Professor Williams’ administrator Janet Raynor and the then Dean, Professor Peter Fentem. The course curriculum itself was initially designed by Idris, Angus and lecturer Joan Bassey.
When Professor Wallace took over as Course Lead around 1993/1994 he appointed Frank Newton, a member of the original cohort of Sports and Exercise Medicine students, as a lecturer.
“I am pretty sure the course had started in the autumn of 1990 and ended in mid-1993.”
“Angus had kindly taken me on as a lecturer the following year and we collected our degrees in the summer of 1994. Of that I am sure since it was the year that Ayrton Senna was killed in a Grand Prix, and when two weeks later Pedro Lamy crashed at Silverstone where I was on duty. He had crashed down a spectator tunnel and in treating him in the confined space I was to inhale some very toxic burning substance that sent me into a massive immune system crash two days later.”
“I remained in hospital for three weeks. The graduation photo we have shows me with a steroid moon face since I was on high doses for months, and that was at the graduations that took place in 1994.”
A GP for more than 25 years before retiring in 1989, Frank is better known for his outstanding voluntary contribution to sport, specifically sailing and was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours for his services to sailing.
As Frank recalls: “In 2012, I was on the water at the Weymouth Sailing part of the Olympic Games of that year. I expect one of the oldest officials at 83! That year I went to ‘Buck House ‘to collect my OBE’ For Services to Sailing ‘. Strange since I had always done much more for runners. But muddy runners do not have so much clout at The Cabinet Office!”
When asked what Sports and Exercise Medicine at Nottingham meant to him, Frank said:
“The MSc course was an essential supplement to the continuing “hands-on” activities. In short, the Nottingham Sports Medicine course opened doors that would have been closed.”
“Quite the best medical years of my 90 years long life were enjoyed under Angus’ care at QMC, for which I am forever grateful.”
“I must recognise that experiences gained during my time at Nottingham and later at Toronto, were instrumental in launching my career here at Bangalore upon my return to India back in 1993.”
“The story began back in 1990 when I wrote to Professor Angus Wallace. Soon after completing my Master of Surgery in Orthopaedics at the then University of Bombay in Maharashtra, India. At that time I had a job as a lecturer at the University of Bombay and I thought it might be better for me to develop a sub-speciality interest. So my areas of interest were sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery and I wrote to Professor Angus Wallace regarding my interest. It turned out that both for him and for me that for each other we happened to be the right person at the right time at the right place.”
“Angus had plans to start the Nottingham University Sports Injury Clinic back then in 1990 and he offered me a placement at the University of Nottingham as a visiting research fellow with the University and appointed me as coordinator at the Nottingham University Sports Injury Clinic.”
“This was early days of Sports Medicine in Nottingham and we started this clinic within the premises of the Queen’s Medical Centre, once a week. I’m proud to say that soon after we started the clinic, the Nottingham Rugby League Football Team appointed the Sports Injury Clinic as their care givers for their home games, which was a big feather in our cap at the time. And then Angus had plans to develop the Master of Science in Sports Medicine within the University of Nottingham.”
“Since that was still a little while away, he suggested that I should do the Diploma offered by the Scottish Royal Colleges in Sports Medicine and since I had the experience with Angus I qualified for the exam and I’m very proud to say that I’m the first Indian citizen to have been awarded the Scottish Royal Colleges Diploma in Sports Medicine.”
“I always had plans to return to India after my stint at Nottingham and then in Toronto and I did. It turned out that [my experience at Nottingham] was a big game changer in my life and it opened several doors to me when I came to Bangalore in South India to set up my private practice.”
“So it’s been a great journey and I think a big part of my journey, the formative part of my journey has been my experience in Nottingham. And that has really been a game-changer and life-changer for me.”