Witney massage therapist lends a hand at Commonwealth Games

The Oxford Times: Hands on: Sports massage therapist Steve Bowerman Buy this photo Hands on: Sports massage therapist Steve Bowerman

ATHLETES at the Commonwealth Games will be in a safe pair of hands this summer.

Steve Bowerman, 51, a sports massage therapist from Witney, has been selected to be a volunteer at the event in Glasgow after performing a similar role at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The father-of-two said: “The Olympics were brilliant and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with elite athletes.

“That’s the highest level you can get to and I loved every second of it.”

After working with international athletes in the Olympic Village and at the rowing lake at Dorney, near Eton, Mr Bowerman volunteered to be involved with the Commonwealth Games, which start on July 23.

He volunteered in January last year, had an interview in June and was selected in December.

He will be working with divers – who could include stars such as Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley – from his base at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, where the diving events will be held.

Mr Bowerman, who runs Witney massage and chiropody firm Body Zones, said: “I am really pleased about it, as I didn’t expect to get selected again.

“There were more than 60,000 games makers for the Olympics, but only 15,000 volunteers for the Commonwealth Games.

“I thought most people would volunteer again and there would be lots of Scottish people as well, so I didn’t think I stood a chance.”

The Witney resident, who has two daughters, aged 13 and eight, said he could not wait to replicate the “amazing” atmosphere of the Olympics again.

He said: “It was great and it was just like you saw on TV.

“The Kiwis and Aussies were particularly friendly.”

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Mr Bowerman, who lives in Springfield Oval, said he has to work on different muscles for the range of sports covered, which should come in handy – given that the Commonwealth Games has 261 events across 17 sports.

He also does a range of massages, from a standard sports session to a more exotic thai hand and foot massage.

Mr Bowerman, a keen sportsman and member of cycling clubs Zappi’s in Oxford and Mickey Cranks in Witney, said he got into the industry five years ago after realising the physical demands his active, sporting life was having on his body.

Fast forward five years, and he will share his expert knowledge with athletes from 70 nations.

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