Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey Brings Elite Women’s Cycle Team to Swansea

Paralympic cycling champion, Dame Sarah Storey has visited Swansea with her team of elite female cyclists for their annual medical assessments at HMT Sancta Maria Hospital.

The Storey Racing team is made up of ten elite female riders who compete across track, road, cyclo-cross, hill climbs, time trials and paralympic events. The Healthcare Management Trust, which owns HMT Sancta Maria Hospital, has sponsored Storey Racing since 2015. As part of the sponsorship, the team receive an annual medical with sports medicine specialist, Dr Mark Ridgewell at the private hospital in the Uplands.

Although the team is based all over the UK, they visit HMT Sancta Maria Hospital to receive specialist medical assessments at the start of each racing season. The assessments include blood tests, ECG, head injury screening, a mental health questionnaire and individual opportunities to discuss form and technique with Dr Mark Ridgewell. The team also meet with physiotherapists and a nutritionist.

Dame Sarah Storey commented: “Our annual trip to HMT Sancta Maria Hospital is vitally important to our team’s success throughout the season. We have been working with Dr Mark Ridgewell for several years and the continuity of care has been fantastic from our point of view. Dr Ridgewell really understands our priorities and ambitions and is on hand throughout the year, advising our team members on any injuries sustained. The medical team at Sancta Maria also provide psychological support and ongoing physio and nutritional advice to our riders as we prepare for specific events.

“Three of our team members, including myself, are looking for selection for the Tokyo Paralympic Games and, as elite athletes, we take our health and fitness very seriously. We’re grateful for the support that Dr Ridgwell, the team at Sancta Maria and the wider Healthcare Mangement Trust give to us.”

Storey Racing was set up by Dame Sarah and her husband, Barney, to nurture talented female cyclists to reach their full potential. The ten-strong team includes some junior riders who are taking the next steps in their cycling careers as well as more experienced athletes, including Dame Sarah herself who has competed in seven Paralympic Games both as a swimmer and cyclist. At the centre of the team is an ethos to ‘be the best version of you’ which carries into every training session and event they compete in. The team’s progress can be followed on social media with the hashtag #BestVersionOfYou.

Geoff Bailey, hospital director for HMT Sancta Maria adds: “It was a pleasure to welcome Dame Sarah and her team to Sancta for their medical assessments. Dr Ridgewell is an expert in his field and has developed a great relationship with the team over the last five years. We wish the team the best of luck for the season ahead and will be following their successes throughout the year.”

HMT Sancta Maria is a not for profit organisation. Profits are used to support local and national causes including several sporting initiatives and research into Dementia. As well as supporting Storey Racing, Sancta Maria is also sponsoring the Swansea Bay Sports Awards and the Gower Ride.This Autumn will see the opening of the new purpose-built HMT Sancta Maria Hospital in Swansea’s SA1.