Commonwealth Games tribute to Keri Holdsworth

A recovery room at the athletes village in Glasgow has been bnamed after Keri Holdsworth.
A recovery room at the athletes village in Glasgow has been bnamed after Keri Holdsworth.
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A former Scotland women’s rugby star who died in a horror crash has had a Commonwealth Games centre named in her memory.

Keri Holdsworth was due to volunteer at the Games but was killed in a road accident last month aged 36.

Now, a polyclinic recovery room in the athletes’ village in Glasgow has been named after the physiotherapist who won 15 caps for Scotland and also played in the women’s rugby world cup.

Polyclinic clinical manager Lynn Booth said: “After the building was completed we heard the tragic news and it was decided by medical services head Liz Mendl and colleagues to rename the facility the Holdsworth Recovery Centre in Keri’s honour.

“There would have been a lot of people here, working in sport and sports medicine, who would have known Keri well.”

Keri, who worked at the Edinburgh University’s Fitness Assessment and Sports Injuries Centre [FASIC], had signed up to offer her services as a physiotherapist at the games.

Four hundred members of Chartered Society of Physiotherapists members are working with international athletes throughout the Games, many based at the clinic dedicated to Keri.

She suffered serious head and back injuries on June 13 after her Renault Clio was involved in a head-on collision with a BMW on the A19 in Hartlepool, north-east England.

She was airlifted from the scene but sadly died the following day at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Keri studied physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and was a physio for both city club Watsonians RFC club and the Scottish Rugby Union.

The Edinburgh University centre closed for a day following her death as a mark of respect.

Treena Shaw, manager at FASIC said: “Keri was an exceptionally good clinician, who was highly respected by fellow professionals, athletes and patients.

“Her knowledge and experience in sports medicine meant that she was in high demand across all sports, most notably in the university’s performance programmes.”

Keri collected 15 caps for Scotland making her debut against Ireland in 2008 and competing in the Women’s World Cup in England in 2010, while turning out for club side Watsonian Ladies.

Kath Vass, co-captain of Watsonian Ladies, said the ex-rugby star had travelled to England the day before the accident to attend a course.

Ms Vass said: “Keri was an excellent physio who took no nonsense from the players and always wanted to expand her knowledge to do her job better.

“She was number eight for our team, but also loved playing in the centres. She was a very formidable runner with the ball, quick and strong.

“It was great to have her in the side because she had played rugby at the University of Birmingham for a few years so she brought experience and was willing to pass that on.”

Keri was forced to wind down her playing commitments as her duties as a physio grew.

Ms Vass said : “She was still known to put on her boots and help us out from time to time.”

Keri who has two brothers and a sister, was born in West Lothian but grew up in Northumberland.

In a statement her family said: “She was a beloved sister and daughter and her family and friends are devastated by her loss.”