The Pan Am Games: A (Small) Peak Behind the Scenes

Pan Am Games - Game ball for soccer in Oakville

The Pan Ams and Para Pan Ams have landed in Toronto and the surrounding areas and our physio, massage and foot care patients in Oakville, (especially those who use the QEW and Gardiner to commute into downtown Toronto for work) are starting to feel just how close the events are. Aside from any traffic headaches, how often is it that such a high caliber athletic event is right on our front door!?

Oakville Physio Pan Am games uniform for volunteering


As one of Palermo Physio and Wellness Centres Physiotherapists, I’m excited to represent

Soccer venue for the Pan Am Games for Physio in Oakville
Sneak Peek Inside the 2015 Pan Am Football Venue in Hamilton.

our Oakville clinic and volunteer at this years Pan Ams as a Physio. I am specifically working with the soccer (football) athletes. My role will be that of a Physio helping the teams and their trainers as needed before, during and after some games and mostly training sessions. Online training has been going on for some time now and as the games approach everyone is required to attend a training at the specific venue where they will be stationed.

Some of the Highlights so far Have Been:
  • Watching Training – Obviously being able to watch some of the top football athletes in the world train
Pan Am Games soccer training venue for Physio in Oakville
Training venue for Pan Am Games 
  • Watching Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs – obviously watching the teams train and practice has been interesting – what’s better than watching an athlete at the top of their game at work? But the Physio nerd in me really enjoys watching how the coaches and trainers choose to structure their warm-ups and cool-downs for their training sessions. I’ve also seen an incorporation of  injury prevention-type drills in some training…well done!
  • Learning from Others – Working the training shifts with other Physios, Registered Massage Therapists, Athletic Therapists, Osteopaths, and Sports Medicine Physicians has been really interesting. Talking shop and discussing courses, clinical reasoning, and how different clinics are structured has educational. I’ve learned things that I’m sure I’ll carry with me as I continue practicing as a Physio here in North Oakville
  • Family Love! My cousin Christine is playing for the Women’s National Waterpolo team. It’s been exciting following their matches and my mom (Carol) has been able to catch a couple games. Make sure to cheer for them as they take on the U.S. in the finals tomorrow!
Waterpolo game at Pan Am Games 2015 by Oakville Physiotherapist
Canada’s Women’s Waterpolo Team in Action at the 2015 Pan Ams


Here are some tid bits I’ve learned that may be of interest:
  • Many people think the Pan Ams are primarily in Toronto, but in reality the footprint of the games spans from Niagara region to Ajax and even up North
  • There are far more sports included in the Pan Ams (36) and Para Pan Ams (15) than the Olympics (28 – summer)
  • Roller Figure Skating and 10 pin Bowling are included in the games
  • Boccia and Rugby are included in Para Pan Am Sports
  • There are volunteers in all aspects of the games that are so important to how the Pan Ams and Para Pan Ams are running. What a great way to help showcase Toronto and the surrounding areas and contribute to such a large scale event.

If you don’t have tickets, many events still have available space. Take advantage of having top end sporting events that you may not have access to watch usually such as wrestling, judo, cycling etc.

~Lisa Clifford Registered Physiotherapist at Oakville’s Palermo Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre (Offering Physiotherapy, Massage, and Chiropodist Foot Care Services to Oakville and the surrounding areas)