STEPH Twell has assured Eilish McColgan that she is in the best possible hands as she bids to recover from a broken foot in time to compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
McColgan is continuing her rehabilitation at Bisham Abbey while her fellow Scot Twell and other distance athletes are taking part in altitude training in Kenya. For Twell, who worked with the staff there as she recovered from a broken ankle last year, there could be no better place to work on a return to competitiveness.
“I worked at Bisham Abbey with the physio Ashley Wallace and she is brilliant at her job,” the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said. “She uses more than just conventional methods. She goes above and beyond that with a full holistic approach. I am convinced they will help Eilish get back on track.
“You are in an old abbey right on the River Thames and it just seems to be very therapeutic. Your mind becomes convinced you will get back from injury.
“There is not a single negative vibe inside that building. They give you a nine-to-five programme every day and the sole focus is the rehabilitation.
“Everything is spelled out for you and there’s no chance of being side-tracked. I went for two fortnight stints and I fell in love with the place.’
Twell is in Kenya with support from UK Athletics, alongside Freya Murray, Beth Potter and Derek Hawkins, who have been funded by Scottish Athletics. “Being away for a month like this really helps you focus,” she added. “You are rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paula Radcliffe and Helen Clitheroe who are massive inspirations.
“For the likes of Derek and Beth who have maybe not been to Africa before then there will be a settling-in period. You have to think about the heat, the altitude, the terrain and so on and so forth.”
Although the Kenya camp is a Team GB venture, Twell is also welcoming it as a chance to get to know her fellow Scots better. “It is a great opportunity, and brilliant that Scottish Athletics are funding their trips,” she said. “That shows we have more athletes who can compete at a high level.
“Freya and I were in Delhi together [at the 2010 Commonwealth Games] and have been in major teams together, so now we will get to know each other better. Derek was in Slovenia with GB [at the European Cross-Country Championships] and this is another chance for him to push himself. We had a chat out there.
“It is great we will be getting to know each other a bit better. The Scotland team doesn’t really gather as such between each Commonwealth Games, but I reckon we will train well together.”