We all push ourselves too far sometimes when it comes to keeping fit. This led University of Cumbria, Carlisle campus Sports Rehabilitation graduate, Martyn Crowe, to access UoC student enterprise support to progress his passion to the next level and develop the Phoenix Sports Injury Clinic. To find out more read our interview:
Why did you engage with this activity & support?
“Whilst speaking to some of my old tutors about setting up my own clinic, they pointed my in the direction of Student Enterprise for more advice. Relevant employment opportunities in my area weren’t looking too promising when I graduated and my job at the time wasn’t 100% secured for the long term. At the same time, setting up in my own business felt risky, expensive and intimidating, but talking to the Enterprise Team completely changed this and definitely opened up a new door.”
How has it helped your employability skills and prospects?
“The guidance I received from the Enterprise team helped me to expand my skillset and become more independent with the management of my self-employed accounting and marketing. Now my business prospects within the university have much more potential to grow, since following the in-house enterprise workshops.”
How has it changed or informed your plans or approach to self-employment or employability?
“Seeking help from Enterprise certainly boosted my confidence and allowed me to materialise on my vision of becoming self-employed. I’d say my approach became less hesitant, but sensibly cautious. This allowed me to take steps forward, without feeling at risk of financial ruin or insecurity.
After my meetings, I became much more self-aware of where I may have been cutting corners or missing out some important procedures in the early stages of business! This process of reflection allowed me to ‘fill in the blanks’ to ensure my business got off to a steady start.”
Would you recommend other students/graduates to engage with this type of activity?
“Absolutely. After studying business in the past and doing some online research more recently, I thought I knew enough. In hindsight, that was pretty naïve and I’m glad I took on board some additional advice before setting up shop. It would be silly not to accept free help and guidance from a service included in your alumni benefits, even if it’s just to tick all of the boxes. Better safe than sorry!”
Tell us about your new business?
“My business (Phoenix Sports Injury Clinic) is based within Carlisle Sports Centre on the Fusehill Street Campus of the University. This allows me to provide Gym-based Rehabilitation, Manual Therapy, Injury Assessment & Diagnosis, Strength & Conditioning, Deep Tissue Massage and much more, all under one roof! Typically I specialise in Neuromusculoskeletal conditions, so any injuries, pains or pathologies associated with soft tissue structures, joints or nerves. However I also assess, diagnose, advise and refer on where necessary, as well as providing other services such as remedial/maintenance treatments, personal training, sports event cover and fitness classes.”
Who is involved in the running and development of your business?
“At the moment, I manage all aspects of my own business, and I currently operate as a sole trader. Although, I have associate practitioners who I count as part of my business team and I also work closely with several of the university and sports centre staff to keep things running smoothly.”
Who are your target customers?
“I don’t really have a set target audience and my clientele vary considerably. A big misconception about Sports Rehab/Therapy/Science is that they are just for sports teams and athletes. In reality, I work with athletes, recreational sportspeople and non-athletic patients with work-related or chronic conditions. The ‘Sports’ element of the clinic really just reflects our application of Medical & Sports Sciences, but a visit can benefit everyone and I tailor my approach to do so!”
How is your business developing, have you secured any major customers/ pieces of work?
“The business is developing at steady rate and is slowly but surely growing. Most importantly, it is doing so at a sustainable level, so I am confident it will continue to go from strength to strength. I have recently opened a new treatment room with gym access, which is perfect for both rehab and performance sessions.
Over the past year, I have managed to create some important partnerships and affiliation with local clubs and event organisers, which are continuing to grow my network. I am lucky enough to work closely with local businesses such as Sport in Action, BST Events, UoC Active, Fitness Cumbria, I.M. Events and more. I am also in the process of negotiating sponsorships with some local athletes and teams, as well as having worked with professional football clubs such as Carlisle United, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday and Walsall, in the past!”
What are your aspirations for your business in the future?
“In the long term, I would love to open a standalone, purpose-built exercise rehabilitation facility in Carlisle, bringing together multiple disciplines under one banner i.e. Sports Rehab, Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Strength & Conditioning and Sports Science in a premium Health & Wellbeing setting.
In the more foreseeable future, I aim to grow the clinic to the point where more practitioners are needed to meet demand and eventually expand into another facility. However my current focus is on creating the best clinic possible within the University setting and providing the best possible care for each client in front of me.
My passion is to provide premium quality care and treatments to the ‘everyday athletes’ and to be able to return normal hard-working people to optimal levels of fitness, which they currently cannot reach through mainstream/public healthcare. So basically, as long as I’m achieving this on a daily basis, then I suppose I’m always hitting my goals, which is what makes the job so rewarding. Nothing beats seeing a client perform at a level they were perhaps told they never would again, or even smashing their own expectations of what they thought was possible!”
Development Manager, Sylvia Grainger said “it was a pleasure to meet and work with Martyn, he is focused on his business and its development, being committed to provide a high quality service and to making a positive difference to people lives. I wish him every success with his business venture.”
For more information or to read some of Martyn’s client testimonials visit the website at www.phoenixsportsinjury.co.uk or Facebook search “Phoenix Sports Injury Clinic”
To learn more about the services he offers or to schedule an appointment email - firstname.lastname@example.org.