We Are Randox | Jonathan Acheson, Physiotherapist to the stars

Home - We Are Randox | Jonathan Acheson, Physiotherapist to the stars

It’s not every day you get to meet a celebrity.  Whether it’s an actor, comedian, model or sporting legend, we all secretly hope that the time will come when we can get to meet our idols!

But what if you were able to work, travel and play alongside your role models every week?

That’s exactly what our Randox Health Corporate Relations Manager, Jonny Acheson does.

Jonny has worked with some of the biggest names in the Northern Irish sporting industry – providing physiotherapy and sports massages to rugby players including Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar!

Read Jonny’s story below.

I went to school at Belfast Royal Academy and played rugby all through my teens. Then I went on to study Physiotherapy at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, from which I graduated in 2012.

I had a part time job in B&Q during university and so worked my way up in there whilst studying for my degree, all the while playing rugby for my university of course!

It seemed like a natural progression to work my way through the B&Q ranks while I was there, and so when I qualified, I got promoted to Project Manager for B&Q Ireland, working from our Dublin office. It was a fantastic experience to be able to develop my people management skills, but working in the health industry was really where I wanted to be, because physiotherapy and rugby were my passion.

I was therefore delighted to have been offered the opportunity to meet the head of 352 Healthcare, to become the outpatient physiotherapist for the 352 Group. I was responsible for setting up and running the outpatient physio department – a job which I did for 2 years whilst also doing other part time physio work in sports.

For some time I worked with Ulster Rugby as a sports massage therapist, after having volunteered one afternoon a week for a couple of months. That summer I got to go away on their pre-season trip to Bayonne in south France for the week. 

There’s one story from that trip that I will always remember.  After the game against Bayonne, the players, coaches and I were all walking down from the changing rooms to the players’ lounge for a meal and a load of fans had waited behind to get autographs.

 I was walking behind Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar and they started signing autographs for their fans.  All of a sudden one supporter was asking me to sign his flag, thinking that I was one of the Ulster rugby players.

I had a moment’s pause while I tried to pull together in my head an explanation in French that I didn’t actually play for the team!

After deciding that my French wasn’t good enough to explain this I thought that it might just be easier to sign… so there were about 20 french fans who thought they were getting all the Ulster rugby stars names, but actually ended up with the lesser-known Jonny Acheson scrawled across their Bayonne flags! I did however write my name in my best and neatest handwriting.

I was also the physio for the Irish Deaf Football Team in the Deaf European Championships in Hannover in Germany, and in the Deaf Olympics in Sofia in Bulgaria, and for the Ulster Deaf Football Team.

I learnt a lot from my dual role in 352 Healthcare and sports physiotherapy, but most importantly that I wanted to be able to bring my sports and health background to a sales and business development position. Therefore the position of Corporate Relations Manager at Randox Health seemed like the perfect fit.

Having an understating of anatomy and the physiology of the body is invaluable when explaining our health programmes to clients. My physio background has also opened several doors that have allowed me to continually grow my contact network.

I continue to do physiotherapy for Randalstown Rugby Club part time, in addition to my role here at Randox. I also play for the Randox Rugby team.

I’ve been asked by a few other local teams to come back and play for them again next season, but I’m still undecided.  Unfortunately I had 5 fractures and a ruptured ligament from a rugby injury a few years back which restricted my playing.  I had 2 plates and several screws inserted to try and fix the breaks and rupture, but when I had these taken out a year later, I was left with part of a screw that had broken off and was too difficult to remove!

So it might be quite some time before I’m back to playing full time. If only I knew a sports physiotherapist…

We are committed to improving healthcare worldwide and every member of our team plays an integral role in helping us to realise our vision.  We are therefore very lucky that Jonny has brought his experience and anatomical expertise to his role in Randox Health. 

If you’re interested in joining our growing team of talented and enthusiastic professionals, please contact recruitment@randox.com

For more information about the #WeAreRandox initiative please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


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