The 2023 edition of the World Fencing Championships took place in Milan from the 22nd to the 30th of July. The Organising Committee and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) chose Francesco Maria Pierri as one of the athletes’ healthcare professionals. A young masseur born in 1995 and specialised in preventive motor activity techniques, Mr Pierri is currently attending UniCamillus’ first level CPD course in Clinical Posturology.
What did this experience teach you from both a professional and a personal perspective?
“It’s difficult to put into words the emotions I felt. I would never have imagined when I started this course of study that I would one day find myself working at a global event, let alone become an active part of it. Instead, I was in close contact with the athletes, with whom I interacted independently, assessing with them treatments to be performed, without having to answer to someone else’s supervision, as often happens during internships. This was a true professional experience, where I was able to test myself, and I did this in a high-level context”.
What practical interventions and treatments did you find yourself performing with the athletes?
“Primarily, I carried out interventions such as Tecartherapy, laser therapy, pre-competition taping, and post-competition massages. Fortunately, there were no particularly significant injuries for the athletes. They mostly sought assistance themselves, especially after matches, when they felt physical discomfort in their backs or arms, which are quite common in the practice of fencing”.
How has the UniCamillus CPD course you are attending helped you so far, and how do you think it will benefit your future career?
“In medicine and healthcare in general, everything is intrinsically connected, so I had the possibility to put in practice everything I’d studied in this field, and it was very useful. Intervening on posture, which is what I’m currently delving into at UniCamillus, is as important for an athlete as any other pre- or post-competition treatment, or even for recovering effectively after a physical issue. After all, physiotherapy is a constantly evolving subject. If we think, for example, about all the various issues that are increasingly arising in people due to incorrect posture during work or the continuous use of tablets and smartphones, it has become very important for a physiotherapist to have a widespread knowledge of how to intervene to correct postural defects. Certain aspects of posturology and body biomechanics need to be understood in order to apply this knowledge to massage therapy”.
What expectations and goals do you have for your professional career?
“The world of sports is what excites me the most. It’s a continuous evolution, as there’s no standardised way of working – you find yourself having to treat each athlete differently, depending on the sport. You never know what you might have to treat, and the professional activity of a physiotherapist can become more dynamic and varied in this way. I would love to continue in this field, although, of course, you can’t focus on one sector only. However, I don’t set specific goals for myself. I want to seize all the opportunities that come my way, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll even find myself working at the Olympics!”.
Our wish for Francesco is that he can truly achieve this goal.