Category Archives: Interviews

Physios at GC2018

We are really excited that a few of our physios that are heading along to the Commonwealth Games and thought we would have a quick chat to them about their involvement.

Shane Lemcke – Director and Sports Physiotherapist

What is your involvement in the games?

I am part of the Australian team as Team Manager and Sports Physio for the Squash program. I will be looking after the 10 squash athletes in the team for a weeks training leading into the Games, and then for the duration of the competition (singles and doubles competitions) which runs for the whole games period. 

Why are the Games important to you?

I’ve been lucky enough in my career to work at a number of major sporting events. It is a real privilege to be able to be part of these events and help the athletes achieve their goals. In a professional sense it is really fulfilling to see athletes and clients who have worked so hard to get to an event like the Commonwealth Games compete and do their best. Personally as a lover of sport it is great to be able to be able to experience the games so intimately, as I never had the talent to make it as an athlete!

What are you looking forward to the most?

I have worked with most of the squash team since they were juniors, and have known some of them for almost 15 years. I am really looking forward to seeing them compete at a home games with all of their family watching, and hopefully enjoying some success. 

Geoff de Jager – Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapist

 What is your involvement in the games?

My involvement in the Games is as a volunteer Physiotherapist on the Medical Volunteers Team. I’ve been stationed at Oxenford Studios, which is the venue for Boxing, Table Tennis and Squash. My main role is going to be with boxing, and will combine “Field of Play” duties as well as working in the Athlete Medical Facility on-site.

Why are the Games important to you?

Working at the Commonwealth Games gives me an opportunity to work with elite athletes in sports I don’t often get the chance to work in. Being involved in a huge multi-sport competition on our doorstep is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to further develop my sports physiotherapy skills and experience a fantastic event from the inside, something spectators don’t get to do. I will also get the chance to help athletes from countries that don’t get much support due to lack of funding, which is always very satisfying. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other sports physios from around the country and around the world, sharing information and techniques.

What are you looking forward to the most?

I’m really looking forward to meeting people from all walks of life, who have come together for this great event. The athletes and other support staff are what makes the games special and creates a fantastic atmosphere for all involved. It will be interesting to pick up new skills too!

Josh McCabe – Physiotherapist

What is your involvement in the games?

My involvement in the Commonwealth Games is sports coverage and treatment with the Hockey and Lawn Bowls venues. I will be working as a venue based physiotherapist in a team of medical professionals including another physiotherapist, nurse and medical doctor. Our role is to provide coverage for every match and to make ourselves available to help any country that may not have access to physiotherapy or medical services while travelling and those teams that require an extra pair of hands for preparation and recovery.

Why are the Games important to you?

Volunteering at the games is an important part of my learning experience as a young physiotherapist and I see this as the first big step in the direction I want my career to head towards. Aside from learning how to work within a medical team at a major championship, also working closely with the teams and some of the worlds best athletes is going to be a very cool experience and one that I am very grateful for.

What are you looking forward to the most?

It’s exciting being part of something that’s so much bigger than an individual sport, it really is quite special to be involved in a home games. I’m looking forward to experiencing the sport from the sidelines, this in my opinion is surely the best way to see live sport.

Interview with Donna Urquhart

In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and in the wake of her 11th PSA title, we chatted to squash champion and QSMC client Donna Urquhart on her squash career and the upcoming games!

How did you get involved in Squash?

I spent my childhood living next door to the squash centre in our little town (Yamba), and before I was old enough to go to school I would follow Mum over to the courts when she played socially. It wasn’t long before I was picking a racket up myself and running around. I just loved it and started playing in under 9s tournaments when I was 6 or 7 years old.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out as an athlete?

I wish I understood the value in active recovery and pre-hab exercises as a young athlete (stretching, rolling, triggering etc). The thing is I’m sure I was told back then, but I used to place so much more importance on the ‘harder’ and more gruelling training sessions instead. I think I find a better balance now between working myself hard and time spent actively looking after myself.

What is going through your mind when you first step onto the court to compete in something like the Commonwealth Games?

As much as you try to treat it like any other competition and focus on your game plan, it’s hard not to feel the extra excitement of the big occasion, not much compares to how proud you feel to be in the green and gold and representing Australia.

You have travelled and competed all over the world and in two Commonwealth Games previously. What is different about the Commonwealth Games to other competition? Does playing the games on home soil change anything?

The biggest differences would be the fact that it’s a multi-sport event and you find yourself surrounded by all kinds of athletes in the one place living and eating together. Also that the Commonwealth Games is a much bigger deal at home in Australia than other squash tournaments usually are, so more media coverage, and even more interest in what I’m doing from friends at home! This time around being a home Games has intensified that even more, but it’s great for the sport – there are people that I have known my whole life coming to watch at the Games who have never actually watched me play before! Having a Games on home soil is just more exciting in that sense, there’s a real buzz around it at the moment, and for me personally it’s a dream come true.

If you had to choose between the two, single or doubles?

Singles, because that’s what I train for and compete in most of the year round, but I actually love playing doubles too. It’s so much fun and I love the team element of it.

What is your favourite Commonwealth Games event to watch?

I like watching the hockey because I grew up playing a lot, and the Australian men’s and women’s teams are both awesome.

How has physiotherapy played a part in your preparation for competition?

Unfortunately injuries are a part of sport and I’ve had my fair share! Physiotherapy has helped me recover fully every time, whether the injury is big or small. I have been looked after by QSMC since the start of my career and I have always had peace of mind knowing that I can trust the advice and help they’ve given me.

You turned pro in 2005, what is the key to 13 years in the sport? How has squash changed over that time?

Even though I currently don’t have any injury problems, I spend time every day doing preventative and maintenance exercises (most of which I have learned from QSMC and Aspire over the years), which I know plays a huge part in keeping my body feeling good and able to compete at the top of my game. In addition to that I am still playing because I absolutely love the sport and I am still driven to keep improving and pushing my limits.

Since the beginning of my career the scoring system has changed in professional squash and also the ‘tin’ height has been lowered. Both these changes have made the game shorter and more attacking, and while squash is still a physical game of endurance, it now has an extra need for speed. The lower tin means you have to cover more ground and get down lower to the ball at the front of the court, making it even tougher on the body, but professional athletes have trained harder and adapted to these changes making squash more exciting to watch than ever before.

Speaking of more exciting to watch, the other big change during my career has been the improvement of technology, making squash so much more TV friendly. It’s awesome to see it from all the different camera angles and in slow motion replays – check out the highlights of the PSA World Tour on YouTube! All the major tournaments can be watched live online at

Thanks so much to Donna for taking the time to talk to us, we cannot wait to watch you compete in the Commonwealth Games!