On 30 June 2014, the Great Britain Pioneers will embark on their 9th International tour. This year they are touring Ghana, with Kinesio UK supporting them all the way. Kinesio will be on standby to help each player to "mend on the move" if necessary!
The Great Britain Pioneers are a team of student rugby league players from a variety of different nationalities and universities around the UK.
They were formed in 2005 to pioneer the sport of rugby league in countries all over the world and since their inaugural tour to Estonia that year, they have played in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazackhstan, Greece, Poland and Morocco.
Each country the squad has visited has progressed to play Rugby League domestically and internationally thanks to the work and help of the Pioneers.
This year, the squad will play against the Ghanaian national side in three international games.
Pioneers Tour Manager, Keith Sandhu says: "Rugby League is spreading across the world and it's brilliant to see so many nations now playing the game that we all love. We know that the Ghanaians have been training hard for almost a year and are looking forward to locking horns with the Pioneers in a few weeks. This should be a great test for the Pioneers squad. We're expecting an extremely physical game and I'm sure our boys will be tested!"
The Pioneers' physiotherapist and qualified Kinesio practitioner Andrew Mitchell will be touring with the team and ensuring they are all kept in top playing form. Andrew has used Kinesio tape extensively both in the clinical and the sporting worlds.
He says: "Kinesio tape is an invaluable tool in my box for treating any type of injury, from the initial stages all the way through to end stage rehab and return to play. It is such a diverse technique that has seen many of my players and clients recover significantly faster and more effectively from injuries than would normally be the case.
"On the Poland Tour in 2012 there was an integral player injured nine days before we flew out. He sustained an ankle injury that under normal circumstances would have taken four to six weeks to heal. With the use of Kinesio Tape alongside manual therapies he was back playing the final test within three weeks of the initial injury. I used Kinesio tape very effectively throughout the treatment and it resulted in a return to match fitness in a much shorter time than usual."
Kevin Anderson, Managing Director of Kinesio UK says: "Kinesio Taping is increasingly used in international rugby all over the world to alleviate pain, reduce swelling and support muscles in movement. We're very pleased to be able to support these talented rugby league players and wish them well on their tour."
Pioneers players have been selected from all the Rugby League playing universities across the country and will represent not only their universities but their respective nation, for example England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales.
Squad members of the Great Britain Pioneers are ambassadors for their university, their country and their sport. Selection criteria considers not only their ability to play the game to a very high standard but players must have a proven track record in undertaking Rugby League development activity.
The captains for each game are selected on the merits not only of their playing skills but also on the contribution to the game of Rugby League in the UK.
For more information on Kinesio UK, go to www.kinesiotaping.co.uk or call 0191 287 7008
For more information on the Great Britain Pioneers, go to www.gbpioneers.co.uk. You can also follow them on twitter @GBpioneers and like their facebook page on Gbpioneers.