The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) is providing SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity with a grant of £90,000 to...
Hands-on higher education success
Barney Polden graduated from the College of Osteopaths in 2017 with a first-class degree and was nominated by the College for the Institute of Osteopathy’s (iO) Rising Star award. Here’s Barney’s back story …
While completing his degree with the College of Osteopaths, Barney Polden continued to serve with the Royal Air Force, working as a professionally Chartered Aircraft Systems Engineer (CEng), having previously gained a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Barney has a passion for and interest in health and fitness. His background is in military fitness, competitive and extreme sports (water polo, snowboarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing). He also loves taking part in endurance events for charity. However, taking part in such activities is not without risk, and Barney’s knowledge and appreciation of, and interest in, the musculoskeletal system and manual therapy have grown over the years largely ‘thanks’ to the significant injuries he has suffered.
He says that he accessed ELCAS funding as ‘representing the RAF in snowboarding and water polo meant that my completing the course would benefit the RAF in helping me and my teammates avoid and recover from injury’.
I am so proud to have gained a first-class degree in Osteopathy and honoured to have received the Rising Star award from the Institute of Osteopathy …
… The award has
renewed my commitment and passion for continuing to learn and develop my skills to be the best osteopath I can be
In 2012 Barney decided to study at the College of Osteopaths. The part-time structure, which continues for the entire length of the five-year course, allows students to continue to work full-time if necessary. This was a key factor in Barney’s decision to study at the College of Osteopaths as he wished to continue his Service with the RAF while he studied.
Life does not stand still when one embarks on such a journey, however, and in 2013 Barney’s daughter, Lana, was born. Having a supportive and caring wife helped to keep Barney focused on both work and study. Juggling all these elements of life can be challenging – but ultimately very rewarding.
In Barney’s words, ‘I am so proud to have gained a first-class degree in Osteopathy and honoured to have received the Rising Star award from the Institute of Osteopathy. I am so appreciative of all the support and tuition that I have received from all the tutors, clinicians and staff. I have met so many lovely and interesting people at the College, which I believe reflects the good nature of everyone who decides to get involved with osteopathy. The Rising Star award has renewed my commitment and passion for continuing to learn and develop my skills to be the best osteopath I can be.’
Barney still has four years of Service until he retires from the Royal Air Force but, after meeting the principal and immediate past president of the Institute of Osteopathy, Robin Lansman, at the iO Convention 2017, he has already found an opportunity to start working part-time at the Body Back-Up clinic in Maidenhead.
To find out more about studying for a career in osteopathy, visit www.collegeofosteopaths.ac.uk
Details of the Body Back-Up clinic can be found at www.bodybackup.co.uk
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