One of Wrexham’s most famous sons has recently been full of praise for an individual who spurred him to success. It wasn’t his team of trainers or the inspiration of Steve Redgrave’s grand haul but instead, it was his mother from North Wales who’s been the driving force for years.
Tom James was one of the shining stars of London 2012 after he claimed the gold medal in the coxless fours with his teammates – a repeat performance of Beijing 2008.
However, without the help and care of his mother Julia, he may never have crossed that finish line victorious.
As any athlete knows, the ravages of constant training and competition can take its toll on the body and James has suffered from a few injuries over his illustrious career. But with his mum, a distinguished physiotherapist at the Spire Tale Hospital in Wrexham, was by his side to support him throughout the toils.
“As an athlete you are always going to suffer injuries and you have to know how to deal with them. I suffered quite a few serious injuries and always sought mum’s expert advice so I could recover as quickly as possible,” said James.
“Mum has without doubt been a massive help to me when it comes to the treatment of injuries.
“It’s vital you trust the judgement of both your surgeon and physiotherapist. And when it comes to mum, I trust her implicitly although I’m sure she will say I’m by no means the easiest of patients to deal with!”
A glittering career saw Tom James rise rapidly through the ranks at Chester’s King School before he went on to participate in the Cambridge & Oxford Boat Race as a competitor to the former with victory finally coming in 2007.
Personal and physical setbacks have been eased by Julia who has been a respected musculoskeletal physiotherapist for an amazing 40 years.
“Being an athlete he knew all about injuries and sometimes had his own ideas as to how they should be treated”, said Julia, “And of course, like most athletes, he always wanted to get back training and competing as fast as possible.
“However, whenever he had surgery, such as the back injury which was operated on at Spire Cambridge, he always came straight back to Wrexham and we’d sit down and discuss the way forward.”
Sue Jones, the Manager at Spire Yale Hospital, was full of praise for Julia James when she said: ““The service they provide is exceptional and I know, from patient feedback, how popular their clinics and consultations are. This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Spire Yale and for much of that time Julia and her team have provided an excellent physiotherapy service to our patients.”