From Athlete to Healer: Ian Egan's Journey in Masters Athletics

March 05, 2024

In the world of sports, the transition from athlete to a support role is often a natural progression, driven by a deep passion for the game and a desire to contribute to the success of others. Ian Egan, a seasoned runner with a background in hurling and football, discovered this calling when he entered the realm of masters athletics, marking the beginning of a fulfilling journey that combines his love for running with a commitment to helping others.

Egan's story takes a turn in 2006 when he embraced the world of sports massage and physical therapy. This decision not only opened doors for him from a competition and travel perspective but also set the stage for a career that would bridge the gap between his personal experiences as an athlete and his newfound role as a physio.

The Galway native found himself working with diverse teams, from Galway football to camogie and hurling. His involvement extended to training camps in Fuerteventura, where he collaborated with professional triathletes. However, it wasn't until 2017, in Aarhus, Denmark, that Egan's journey took a significant turn.

It was in Aarhus that Egan began working with the Irish masters team at the European Masters Athletics Championships. This experience marked the beginning of a profound connection with the world of masters athletics, where he now regularly supports Irish athletes at both World and European Championships. Egan considers this an immense privilege, as he is not only part of a team but is also deeply familiar with the challenges his teammates face, having navigated similar injuries and setbacks himself.

Egan emphasises the importance of effective communication with his clients, recognising that addressing both physical and mental aspects is crucial. Athletes, whether seeking pre or post-event massage, find solace in Egan's ability to empathise, offer sympathy, and provide encouragement. The physio treatment table becomes a safe haven, a space where athletes can share their concerns or simply focus on their mental preparation for the upcoming competition.

Beyond the physical therapy, Egan sees his treatment table as a gathering space, adorned with the Tricolour, symbolising unity and safety for the athletes about to compete. In this way, he not only provides physical support but also creates a conducive environment for mental prep.

Despite his role, Egan harbours a burning passion for continuing his athletic journey. He wishes to be remembered not only as Ian the physio but also as Ian the runner. His dream persists, fueled by the prospect of many more competitions. Egan is committed to being there for as long as he is needed, both as a competitor and as a team support member.

Egan advocates for masters athletics as the ideal haven for athletes aged 35 and above. He describes it as an all-encompassing, non-judgmental, and welcoming community, rich with wise and experienced individuals. The presence of renowned masters athletes like Annette Quaid and Joe Gough only adds to the allure.

For Ian Egan, working with the Irish masters team is not just a job; it's a dream fulfilled. His journey showcases the seamless blend of athleticism and healing, creating a narrative that inspires both seasoned athletes and newcomers to embrace the holistic nature of sports – a space where running and healing converge to create a lasting legacy.

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