I was asked to do some massage work with the WWE and of course I said yes!

Saffron is a second year BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy student at USW. As part of her studies, Saffron has completed a number of placements, but this one in particular was a little bit different! Recently, the WWE took over the Principality Stadium for the ‘Clash at the Castle’. Whilst here, some of the wrestlers requested soft tissue support, and student Saffron was on hand to help.

We’ll let Saffron tell the story from here...

“I was asked to do some massage work with the WWE and of course I said yes! I had no idea what was involved or who I’d be working with, but nevertheless I said yes. I arrived at the New Theatre Cardiff where The Undertaker was holding his ‘1 Deadman Show’ ahead of the main event later that day. I was given my own backstage pass and after chatting to some of the security there I was introduced to Larry Heck who has worked alongside the Undertaker for over 20 years, and he told me I'd be providing the Undertaker with a relaxing massage in between his shows. I was obviously nervous, but the excitement took over. After asking what he was looking for from his treatment, I realised that a "relaxing" massage for him included a lot of deep tissue work due to his high pain tolerance!. The treatment lasted 90 minutes - it was tiring as it included a lot of deep tissue work, but the conversations we were having really distracted me from any tiredness I was feeling as he was such an interesting guy.”

Saffron has also completed a placement over the summer with Cardiff Rugby, so how did working with a WWE wrestler compare to working with professional rugby players?

“Working in a rugby environment really helped me to believe in myself due to feedback I'd previously had - It made me know I was more than capable of doing something as big as this. As well as this, I was already used to massaging people of big build who can take a lot of pressure (although I’d never massaged someone who was 6ft 10 before!)”

How do you feel now you’ve had this experience, Saffron?

“I was just absolutely amazed and so, so proud of myself. It was the most surreal experience ever. Although I knew it was different to anything I've done before, working with Cardiff Rugby really made me believe in myself and I took it all in my stride and did what I do best – one experience just led to the other, and I’ve gained so much confidence from this” 

Course leader Dr Kate Williams said, “We are immensely proud of our students at USW – it's great to see students putting themselves forward for placements. Even if they are a little unsure to start, they really grow from these experiences, and they create interesting topics of conversation on CVs and job applications. It’s what sets our students apart.” 

Well done Saffron!