Gio Tecson: He who heals Cebu’s young athletes

By Mars Alison |June 18,2019 - 10:07 AM

Physical therapist, Gio Tecson, marches with the Central Visayas delegation during the Parade of Athletes in the opening ceremonies of the PRISAA National Games. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – In sporting events, spectators often see the athletes competing in sports, conquering the odds and coming out victorious either as an individual or as a group. 

What many don’t see is that athletes have a support system, a team of people who makes sure that they are in their best form in every sports endeavor.

Crucial to this team is the physical therapist and for the athletes who represented Central Visayas in the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Games, one name stands out above the rest.

Gio Tecson, 25, has been serving as the physical therapist of these young athletes in the last three years; a memorable three years that also saw the delegation finished as the overall champion in the collegiate division.

Even when he had to treat more than the ratio of one physical therapist to a patient in an hour in a week-long multi-sporting event, Gio still finds it fulfilling to be able to contribute in keeping the Central Visayas athletes in top condition so they can bring home the bacon.

“Fulfilling kaayo sa akong part nga through my profession, nakasupport ko sa ilaha not just sa kanang pag cheer-cheer but also for them to move better, live better thus naka perform sila og mas maayo,” says Gio. 

(It is very fulfilling on my part that I am able to support them through my profession, not just in cheering for them but by helping them move better, live better, thus they’re also able to perform better.) 

Being the lone physical therapist, who goes with the delegation is very tiring but this does not discourage him.

“Wala gyud. Actually, mas naganahan ko kay bahalag tiring sa kadaghan, nidaog man atoa region. Murag overall champs ta ato. Especially ang kato ako mga nahandle ato mga nidaog gyud though naa uban wala ka gold but still naka place,” explains Gio. 

(Not at all. Actually, I liked it more even if it is tiring as I have to treat many athletes, because our region won. We are overall champs. Especially that those whom I have handled won. And, even if some did not win the gold medal, they were still able to place.)

Gio says that in a multi-sporting event, the ratio of a physical therapist in handling patients is 1:4 in an hour.

However, in Gio’s case, he often starts as soon as athletes get back to their quarters after games and treats as many as he could usually ending close to midnight.

He also goes around the playing venues to check on the players. 

Gio says most of those who requires his services are basketball players, indoor and beach volleyball players, football players and those in athletics, among others.

Gio adds that he does post recovery, injury prevention and movement correction.

While he is at it, he also inserts a bit of education so the athletes can have awareness about their existing injury or probable injury that they may  get in their sport. 

“There are some athletes who send messages asking what they should do next. Or if we see each other, they’d tell me that my advice worked and that it really helped. But, there are also some whom I never heard from again,” he shares.

Physical therapist Gio Tecson administers treatment to the Central Visayas athletes during the recently held 2019 PRISAA National Games in Davao City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Education

Gio obtained his Physical Therapy degree from Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU) in 2016.

That same year he took and passed the Physical Therapy board examinations and is currently working as a physical therapist in Maayo Medical.

He got trained in sports rehabilitation after he started attending to the physical fitness of clients at the Citigym right after he passed the board exams.

“Right after passing the boards, one of the clinical instructors, Eugene L. Octaviano, who is also my mentor in my profession, called and asked if I was willing to work in a gym to handle individuals for fitness,” he recalls.

“So I decided to grab the opportunity. Then from there, I started training under him in catering to clients with sports related injuries/issues,” adds Gio.

Fom there, Gio got hooked to treating sports related injuries so he reached out to CDU’s athletic director, Catherine “Cathy” Vestil, which started his journey in the PRISAA.

“Since I wanted to expose myself to different sports, I reached out to Madame Catherine Vestil and asked if she can link me through any sports events so I can share my knowledge and expertise and I could also practice my profession further. So that’s when she told me to go with them in the PRISAA Games,” Gio shares.

Athletic side 

Gio says that being athletic himself made him lean to that side of his profession, which is sports-related injuries rehabilitation.

Gio played volleyball for his school in his secondary and collegiate years.

He started out as a member of the varsity team of the University of San Carlos-North Campus in his third year.

He says that he was influenced into sports by his brothers who were varsity volleyball players as well.

Another reason that he leaned into sports rehabilitation is to spread awareness about the importance of having physical therapists in sports teams.

Most importantly, Gio wants to correct the general misconception that a physical therapist is not a masseuse or locally known as “manghihilot”.

“That is really a struggle because when people hear the word PT, they’d immediately say ‘so you’re a good masseuse or can you give me a massage’,” Gio shares.

Gio is a young man, who saw his professional niche in helping athletes become better in what they do while making sure that they stay healthy.

His work is his commitment to further spread the awareness of the crucial roles that physical therapists play in sports rehabilitation. / celr

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