Sidmouth GP heads to Botswana with England netballers

Sidmouth Health Centre doctor, Dr Sally Dutson, has flown out to Botswana as the England netball team's official doctor. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0394-32-14AW Sidmouth Health Centre doctor, Dr Sally Dutson, has flown out to Botswana as the England netball team's official doctor. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0394-32-14AW

Saturday, August 9, 2014
12:54 PM

A netball super fan and Sidmouth GP will act as a courtside doctor for the England Youth team on its tour of Botswana.

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Sally Dutson has had a whirlwind three months after being selected for the 10-day tour.

Dr Dutson, 38, has been very grateful for all the support from her colleagues and family. After jetting off on Tuesday, she has left behind her husband to look after their two young children and her job as a doctor at Sidmouth Health Centre during the busy FolkWeek.

She said: “I had to say I have this opportunity; my husband will be juggling childcare for ten days but he said ‘this job is made for you, it is an opportunity that happens once every ten years.’”

The mother of two has been playing netball since she was eight years old and reached England level before continuing playing locally.

Dr Dutson said: “It is a passion of mine. I love watching sport and to me it is about the athlete. I love their dedication and their strive for perfection. I am very excited about being apart of the England setup.”

The Under-19s will play the Youth and Senior Botswana and Namibia national teams back to back across six days. The team is using its tour as preparation for the World Youth Championships in 2018 in four years’ time.

She will be courtside for all the matches alongside Jo Avery, a physiotherapist from Exeter.

The doctor, who resides Colaton Raleigh, has worked in sport and exercise medicine for over 10 years. She also gained experience working with elite athletes at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.

She said: “I need to be fully prepared for any eventuality, whether it is an injury on the court, an allergic reaction or earache, or one of the support crew having a medical emergency.

“As I don’t know what the facilities will be in Botswana I need to effectively be a paramedic and doctor rolled into one and have the kit to deal with everything - there will be a lot of luggage!’

Dr Dutson hoped that she would not be called to action too much and hoped to see the girls come home victorious.

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