Canine Athletes gunning for Gold - again!
Plagued with aches, pains, stiff joints and twinges in your back? Then the healing hands of Sports Massage Therapist - Tace Allen can work wonders - if you’re a dog that is!
The 30-year-old from Andoversford, Cheltenham is a qualified Human, Equine and Canine Sports Massage Therapist. From her clinic in Winchcombe she treats humans of all backgrounds both sporting and non-sporting for general aches and pains and injuries, she has a mobile service for horses and dogs. Tace massages, kneads and manipulates dogs of all ages, size and ability from performance dogs to beloved pets.
In a couple of weeks time Great Britain will be sending out a team of our best canine athletes to the World Dog Agility Championships held in Belgium, and yes you have guessed it, the dogs even have their own Sports Massage Therapist.
“I have owned and loved dogs since I was little, I even trained as a Veterinary Nurse and I started competing my own dogs in dog agility about 4 years ago” says Tace “I think that level of experience is vital for my work”.
Tace qualified as a Human Sports Massage Therapist in 2003 and then went on to study for her Equine and Canine diplomas in Sports Massage Therapy, she qualified with distinction in both. In return she is now one of the only people in the country to have obtained diplomas in all three areas. She adds “A Marathon runner would never dream of running a race without warming up thoroughly, so why is a canine athlete any different? We expect the dogs to twist, turn, balance and jump, they have to be flexible, confident and fit to achieve this”.
The GB Agility team went to Holland in 2006 for the World Dog Agility Championships and came back with 5 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals. Tace adds “The World Championships is a tough competition held over 3 days, so the dogs and handlers have to be of peak fitness. We weren’t without injury either. Myself and the team vet had our work cut out to make sure all 8 dogs and handlers were sound for 3 days of competition, it was hard work which paid off, hence the medal tally” .
For the 2008 team qualification, competitors went through a tough qualifying process in 2007, which rewarded not only speed and ability but also consistency.
The competitors were all members of UK Agility and it was at the UK Agility National Finals that the team was decided. “The competition was very competitive this year with a number of talented dogs trying out for the squad, but we can only take 12 this year” says Tace. “As a Sports Massage Therapist, I am trained to analyse a dogs posture, movement and muscles to identify and locate any soft tissue problems, this also had to come into the assessment qualification for the dogs, we can’t afford to go up against the best in the World with injured dogs”.
The GB Dog Agility Squad will be heading off for Belgium on 7th May. For more information on Sports Massage Therapy or Treatments, Tace can be contacted on www.taceallen.com.
To find out more about dog agility please log on to www.ukagility.com