Whenever I teach it is inevitable that I build relationships with everyone in the class room, because I normally teach face to face this is built over time, I find out about those in the class and they find out about me. As more and more learning is moving online these relationships are never formed which is a shame, they can be really useful.  Part of the ethos for the School of sports massage although we are online, is to still keep it personal, so Charlotte and I thought we would write a blog each about ourselves, as way of an introduction and to give you a chance to get to know us a little better.

Other than my name, which is Tamsin, (although I always introduce myself!) the first question I’m generally asked is what sport I’m into and my response often brings a slightly shocked face. The short answer is I’m not. Over the years I have done a lot of weight training and I’ve enjoyed for fun and am generally not very good at, indoor climbing. I got into sports massage because I enjoy it and enjoy fixing people and I think not being focused on one sport, from a business point of view has worked well for me.

What else can I tell you about me? While writing this I’m 46 and have been married for over 11 years. I live 1100 feet up a mountain in Wales and have a collection of animals, which I consider to be more friends than pets. I have two dogs, Kodi who is a 8 year old malamute with a stubborn streak a mile wide and Anuk who is a 7 year old tri breed, malamute, husky and german sheppard and she can be a right royal pain in the….. but I wouldn’t be without them, their positive traits far outweigh the negative and they are very cute! We also have 12 hens, a duck and 3 cockerels one of which we are trying to find a new home for at the moment as he refuses to integrate into the flock, all of them are rescued. Lets not forget the 5 feral cats we inherited, who have forgotten they are feral. As you may be able to tell my animals are very important to me as they are the first topic of conversation.

I’m originally from St Ives in Cornwall and moved to Bristol when I was 15 years old, I was never a fan of School, but as I got older and I chose the areas I wanted to study, my interest in education grew. I’m dyslexic, not that it ever stopped me and I’m proud to say I’m still capable of confusing spell checker with some of my spelling! I left school with next to no GCSE’s and that’s never stopped me either. When I was 21 I trained as a beauty therapist and although pampering people wasn’t my thing I was good at it and enjoyed massage which is how my love for sports massage eventually developed.

From a business and work point of view I have had various jobs and businesses but most relevant to you would be, the massage business that has been supporting me for over 13 years working both mobile and in a clinic as well as sub contracting to the English Institute of sport (EIS).

From an employment perspective working at Bath University both in the sports injury clinic and teaching sports massage would be most relevant. My way into Bath uni came about from who I knew not what I knew, although my skills helped. So how did I know who I needed to know?

For several years when I first started sports massage, I did a lot of massage at events for free not making money but building my business and making contacts. I did a couple of events regularly for awhile, Bath ½ marathon and Keynsham 10k were the ones that worked for me. At Keynsham 10k I was the only person offering massage, I would charge £3 for 10 mins which all went to the charity of the day and I absorbed all costs, this got me about 12 clients some of who I still see to this day. Bath ½ marathon was slightly different, I never gained any clients here but there was lots of massage therapists and I made a couple of good friends from these but I also made a contact at Bath uni.

Years later I had a call from them and they were looking for casual contract staff. I got my CV in late, had never had an interview for a sports massage job and to say the least it wasn’t my best and I still got the job. Not what you know who you know. To be honest I think the interview had really been conducted at the Bath ½ when he could see me working naturally. Eventually the job developed into a part time permanent contract which fitted nicely around my business and further developed into teaching. Oddly I had completed my teaching qualifications years before I needed it but at the time I wanted to learn something and thought it might come in handy one day, and it did. The teaching came about by someone running around the clinic asking if anyone had a teaching qualification who could deliver sports massage, no interview right place right time.

I have to say the first time I taught was the scariest day of my life, my mouth was so dry I could barely speak, so I did what I do best and demonstrated massage! I’m glad I’ll never have to do that again, that would be my worst recurring nightmare. I do remember this group well, they were very gentle with me and bought me a bottle of Absolute vodka to say thank you.

I’ve had some interesting times teaching and think I have probably seen it all and think I can probably handle anything now. While teaching at Bath uni I had the pleasure of teaching Charlotte, we have worked together for many years on and off and one day had a conversation about developing our own school.

All of this has lead onto the creation of the School of sports massage I am very excited about the project and have learnt so many new skills along the way. We both have a huge amount of skills and knowledge that we are keen to pass on, a lot of which can’t be found in the text books but from the things we have done over the years.

That’s a little bit about me and where I come from oh and by the way I’m into zombie movies. If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to answer them.


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