Falcons squad welcomes Dr Rachel Hawes OBE

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Dr Hawes is a consultant anaesthetist working with Great North Air Ambulance, Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and the British Army, who spent more than an hour with Falcons players and management. Presenting to the squad and taking questions from the floor, Dr Hawes had the full attention of the room as she outlined the systems used by her and fellow medical staff in dealing with life-and-death situations. Dr Hawes, who was born in Newcastle, was presented with her OBE by the Queen in 2018, with head coach Dave Walder delighted by the impact her visit had on his squad. “I thought Dr Hawes was outstanding in the way she spoke to the players, and on behalf of the club I would like to thank her for coming in and sharing her experiences,” he said. “She highlighted really important areas like how to communicate effectively under extreme pressure, and how having clear systems in place is vital to achieve positive outcomes. "She is dealing with life-threatening situations which is obviously different from our own sphere in professional sport, but a lot of the systems and practices are transferrable and have given us plenty of food for thought.” Dr Hawes’ visit follows on from a previous presentation from Paralympic wheelchair rugby gold medallist Jack Smith, with Walder saying: “It’s great for our squad and staff to hear from these guest speakers. “As well as being really interesting and relatable it’s nice for them to hear different voices, and be exposed to insight from outside of our usual bubble. “You can’t fail to be enthused and enlightened after hearing from people like Jack and Rachel, and I’m sure we can transfer certain themes from it into our own working environment.” Dr Hawes is raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance. Click here to donate.

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