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Unsung paramedical heroes celebrated

News –

By: Clarissa Andersen

Swimming Canada presented awards of recognition to three paramedical leaders, honouring their long-standing support and dedication as integrated support team members.

Dr. Ken Mikkelsen (Chiropractor), Ronald Mattison (Physiotherapist), and Aurel Hamran (Massage Therapist), received the awards at a paramedical workshop held Sunday in preparation for the Olympic & Para-swimming Trials, Presented by RBC.

“These professionals have spent a combined 77 years and 17 Olympics supporting our programs. It’s our chance to recognize and thank them for their continued support, and acknowledge the impact that they have had,” said Allan Wrigley, Ph.D, Integrated Support Team Director for Swimming Canada.

Their level of dedication, experience, and expertise bestowed upon Swimming Canada is unparalleled within the organization’s support system. These professionals are national and international leaders in their fields, and often go above and beyond what they are asked to do. They volunteer countless hours, travel around the globe with teams, and ensure that the athletes have the foundation of health and wellness they need to compete at such a high level.

“They give up personal holidays and professional income to help work with our travelling teams as well as within their local swimming communities,” said Wrigley.

“We rely on these people to provide a standard of care that just is not possible without the hard-earned experience and ability to deal with any issue that they encounter.”

Swimming Canada’s support staff members are unsung heroes who understand the impact health and wellness has on performance. They work tirelessly behind the scenes, and in many cases do not even get the chance to watch the athletes perform.

“They never ask for credit or recognition, and every year raise their hands when the call goes out for help and support of our teams,” says Wrigley.

“This is an opportunity for us as an organization to take a moment and truly acknowledge, recognize, and sincerely thank some of the key practitioners that have laid the foundation for what we are able to do today.”

About the award recipients:

Dr. Ken Mikkelsen – Chiropractor:

Dr. Mikkelsen, who is based out of Lifeforce Proactive Health Centre in Langley, B.C., has been working with swimming since 1987, and has been to seven Olympic Games as part of the national swimming team.

Ronald Mattison – Physiotherapist:

 Based out of the Allan McGavin Sport Physiotherapy Centre in Vancouver, Ron Mattison has been working with swimming since 1996, and has been to five Olympic Games, one of which was dedicated to the swim team. Mattison was also recently inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame.

Aurel Hamran – Massage Therapist:

Aurel Hamran, who is based out of the High Level Sport Massage and Injury Clinic in Edmonton, has been working with swimming since 1988. He has been to five Olympics as part of the Canadian Olympic Committee core medical team.

In 2013, Hamran was one of 41 members of the Canadian sport community to receive the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his invaluable contribution to the Canadian sport community.