Denied permission to ‘explore’ India during the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Patricia Jenkins wasn’t ready to let go of another opportunity to fulfill her wish. The 47-year-old is a licensed therapist who is part of the Deccan Chargers support staff in the current IPL. But this is just a temporary job for her. She is an integral part of the medical team for the Australia Olympics contingent.
Her job has taken her to three Olympics in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) besides the 2010 Games in Delhi.
“I’m still working with the Australian swimming team, so I haven’t switched as such,” said Patricia. “It was a shame we weren’t allowed to go out and explore India, so all we experienced was inside the village and the swimming pool. There was an organised trip for athletes and officials to the Taj Mahal, so I was excited to see that,” Patricia told HT.
“When an opportunity came up to work with the Australian cricket team I thought it would be fun and interesting. From there I was asked if I’d like to work with the Deccan Chargers and I was excited,” she said.
So, how is the challenge of working with athletes from different disciplines?
Patricia, who was with the Australia cricket team that toured South Africa last October, said: “The biggest difference between cricket and swimming is that the swimmers don’t have to deal with the impact with the ground.
“The cricketers have to be able to execute a lot of different skills, whether batting or fielding, diving for balls or bowling. They need to have speed to run but don't necessarily need the big range of motion that the swimmers need,” she said.
After the IPL, Patricia hopes to board the flight for the London Olympics.
“I’m still awaiting confirmation but I will possibly be going to London with the Australian swim team,” she said. Right now, she is enjoying her Indian trip.
“The Indian guys have been great, they are professional athletes so I treat them the same I would any other athlete,” said Patricia.