Recover at home - Blake hopes new wellness centre will allow athletes to remain in Ja for specialised treatment
Having suffered multiple career-threatening injuries himself, superstar Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is looking to ensure that the world-class treatment and services needed to recover are available to his fellow athletes, right here in Jamaica.
Blake, who on Monday opened the Yohan Blake Health and Wellness Centre at its 47d Old Hope Road location, believes the facility can act as a catalyst in terms of the development of the local landscape, where physiotherapy and sports injury rehabilitation are concerned.
With national athletes traditionally having to travel overseas to receive certain types of treatment for various injuries, Blake, who also noted that the services will also be extended to the general public, says that creating an opportunity for the island’s sporting representatives to get the necessary treatment at home formed a major part of his motivation.
“I’ve just been dreaming of helping each and everyone and if we can also change the game, to let athletes look to here [in Jamaica] it would be so much different,” Blake told The Gleaner. “You don’t have to fly out. You can have your personal treatment here in Jamaica.”
According to Blake, the centre has been in development since last year, and is equipped to provide a number of highly efficient, breakthrough treatment methods, such as recovery boots, electrotherapy and ultrasound machines.
Blake, who missed the chance to defend his 100m title at the 2013 World Championships after suffering a hamstring injury in 2013, again damaged his hamstring a year later, when he actually tore a muscle off the bone, requiring surgery in Germany.
Given his own experiences, the world’s second fastest sprinter in the 100m and 200m, is hoping to bridge the gap in service and cost, providing the same world-class treatment at an affordable cost for local clients and those across the region.
“Not too many persons are doing dry laser treatment that would go directly to the muscle and also the shock wave and the new ultrasound stem machine that reaches to the muscle,” Blake said. “[But] it’s going to be a wide range of [methods], getting athletes to recover faster, so that they can get back to competition. We also try not to charge an overhead price.”
Calling the opening a potential game changer for athlete treatment in Jamaica, Blake says that he hopes that it will be the catalyst for the establishment of similar facilities in the island, as well as more initiatives to serve the athletic community and others.
“This is the start of what’s to come and we are looking forward to the future to even expand and do different [things],” Blake added.
Blake’s times of 9.69 seconds in the 100m and 19.26 seconds in the 200m are the second fastest times in history, in the respective events.