The CUOSC inspired Carlisle REUnited campaign has seen fans come together to raise funds which can be put to good use on approved club projects, with everything from cardboard cut-outs in the Pioneer Stand to virtual online events bringing the current fighting fund total to just over £12,500.
And the medical department here at Brunton Park have been the first to benefit with the recent purchase of a NordBord Hamstring Testing System [costing £3,000], a piece of equipment designed to increase the length, size and strength of the hamstring during the recovery and rehab process, and through specifically designed training programmes.
Speaking on behalf of CUOSC, who made the purchase from the Carlisle REUnited campaign fund, Frank Beattie said: “This is a special piece of state-of-the-art equipment that we know Chris Beech is delighted the club has acquired. CUOSC is happy to have helped out.
“If it keeps players fit and available for selection it can only be good for the Blues.
“So far we have raised nearly £12,500 in our Carlisle REUnited fund and most of the contributions have come from individual supporters.
“This is a tremendous effort at what is a difficult time for everyone. It shows just how much the club means to supporters and the community.
“We cannot wait for the day when it is safe again for all fans to return to Brunton Park and get behind the team.”
Director of football David Holdsworth told us about his delight at the purchase, having first spoken to CUOSC about the possibility of sourcing the equipment.
“I thank CUOSC sincerely for helping us to do this,” he said. “It’s something that is going to be a long-term benefit to our physio department and our club, and it’s fantastic that our supporters are right at the heart of it.
“We feel that if we’re going to approach fans or fan groups and ask for financial assistance that it is extremely important that they then see how their money has been spent.
“This is a step forward for us when it comes to treating or preventing hamstring injuries and we are greatly appreciative that fans contributed to the Carlisle REUnited campaign and have, because of that, made this happen.”
United’s chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “We would like to thank CUOSC and the fans who have donated to their Carlisle REUnited campaign.
“We are very grateful. Both Chris and David believe this will make a difference to the fitness of players, which is vital to us.
“It’s a great example of everyone working together in difficult times. Thank you.”
And United boss Chris Beech echoed those sentiments.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to work with CUOSC and the fans on getting a piece of equipment that is of real benefit to our medical department,” he told us this week. “Our fans live and breathe this club and this is another example of how much people just want to pull together and help wherever they can.
“The Carlisle REUnited fundraiser is excellent and it’s good for everybody to see that money raised is being put to immediate good use, with Brennan Dickenson and some of our youth team players already making good use of the NordBord.
“It’s just a huge thank you to everybody who has been part of making this happen for us.”
Having had the equipment for just over a fortnight, head physio Ross Goodwin explained how it will now be put to use.
“The NordBord is a system that can be used to monitor hamstring strength and imbalance,” he commented. “The player can perform a variety of different hamstring exercises on it to give a baseline of their muscle capacity.
“Studies have shown evidence for its reliability in helping to lower the risk of injury and the players can use this equipment daily or weekly, depending on the schedule.”
“By testing hamstring strength on a regular basis, as well as monitoring GPS data, you can try to predict who is at a greater risk of injury,” he continued. “it’s not an exact science, but if someone’s hamstring strength score has reduced and their high speed running is through the roof, then you have evidence that the muscle is fatigued and may be at risk of injury.
“In this case, we can adapt their training load to try and prevent any strain before they occur.”
But how has it been of benefit so far?
“In terms of the medical side of things, this has been a great help with Brennan Dickenson’s rehabilitation,” he confirmed. “We can regularly check his strength so that we can see improvements or tiredness.
“But, as importantly, we can see the imbalance between right and left - this should be within 10 percentage of the good leg - so gives a good target of where he needs to be before we can allow him to sprint and get back to full training.
“He’s now at the running stage of rehab so this is going to become an essential objective measure of how and when he can progress.”
And from a strength and conditioning point of view, Greg Short said: “The reason for wanting to purchase the equipment is that, before its arrival, we did not have the resources to screen and monitor individual player’s hamstring strength.
“With this piece of equipment, we are now easily and efficiently able to do so. It is fantastic to have such great support from CUOSC, we are so grateful here at the club.
“This equipment will have a huge positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our players. We hope we can return the favour with some positive results over this Christmas period. Thanks again!”