Over the years, City College’s Beauty & Holistic Therapies team have passed on their industry experience to a lot of hard-working students eager to boost their skills, but not many have had such a prodigious hunger for learning as Davide Cappelletto. During 2005 and 2006, Davide trained in no less than six different therapies at the College – Body Massage, Remedial Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Aromatherapy and Thermal Auricular Therapy. ‘Davide was an exceptionally dedicated student,’ recalls his tutor, Georgia Christoforou. ‘In each of the courses he studied, he totally immersed himself in the subject, gained as much knowledge as possible from his tutors and took every opportunity to refine his skills.’
Ten years on, the dedication that Davide demonstrated during his time at the College has well and truly paid off as he now enjoys a rewarding and exciting role as ‘Soigneur’ (the vital member of a cycling team who gives massage, nutrition and a range of other assistance to riders) with Team GB Cycling while also working as a self-employed Holistic Therapist.
“I started studying massage therapy with the idea to go back into sport as a holistic therapist and City College gave me the knowledge and skills which are now the base of my career,” says Davide. ‘I loved the atmosphere at the College and the way the tutors were pushing us to achieve more and get the best out of our time. I felt very inspired by them. I still remember my first day at the College. When I showed up, I was pretty relaxed, expecting to have an induction day. As it turned out, within five minutes of the tutor entering the room, she was already getting us engaged with muscle physiology and massage techniques and that continual focus on learning was something that really stuck with me.’
Originally from Treviso in Italy, Davide returned to his native country after completing his studies at City College and within a year, had established his own Holistic Therapies clinic. At the same time, he focussed on gaining experience as a sports masseuse, initially in football but then in a sport that he has a huge passion for – cycling. Having lent his skills to various local cycling teams, Davide had a lucky break while working at an under 17s race where he introduced himself to the Australian National team and offered his services. A year later, the team contacted him which led to a successful working partnership that lasted seven years. This period brought many career highlights for Davide. In 2009, one of the athletes he was working with, Jack Bobridge, became the Under-23 World Time Trial Champion in Mendrisio, Switzerland and in 2015, the Australian women’s pursuit team Davide was working with became world champions, beating the previous 2013 world record. At the Track World Championships in Paris a couple of months later the Australian men’s Under 23 team he was working with, featuring track world champion Alexander Edmonson, won the Tour of Flanders Espoirs, the biggest one day race in the cycling calendar.
The latest exciting stage in Davide’s career came this year when Team GB opened a base to develop young talents in Montichiari in northern Italy and Davide was offered the opportunity to get involved. This month, he’ll be with the team in Belgium with a trip to Switzerland coming up in December. At the beginning of 2017, the new road season will commence and Davide will be working with a new group of up-and-coming young cyclists. ‘I love working in a sporting environment because you’re always having to overcome new challenges,’ he says. ‘Being a soigneur means taking care of the team at 360° – from well-being right through to the logistical side. As well as being involved with a sport that I’ve loved since I was a child, I’m now working on the development of the most talented young riders in the world and at times with the kind of elite athletes that I usually just follow on TV. There’s always something new to learn, professionally and personally, and it gives me lot of inspiration to put into my own clinic. There’s also a really interesting and satisfying contrast in my career because after working with top athletes, I love going back to my clinic and helping ‘ordinary’ people to find their balance and recover their health. I love the feeling of helping them and the personal fulfilment of seeing positive outcomes.’
Looking to the future, Davide’s greatest ambition is to be involved in the Olympics but he can still find much satisfaction in all that he’s achieved so far: ‘Working with the two nations that are leading the field in cycling for results, research and ethics and being in contact with top athletes is something that makes me feel really proud.’
So finally, what’s his advice to current Beauty & Holistic Therapies students who aspire to a successful career of their own?: ‘Don’t be scared of your own dreams. Make them happen day by day, step by step. If you love your subject, let your own passion drive you – it will bring you there!’
For more information on Beauty & Holistic Therapies courses at City College, contact course information on 01273 667759, email email@example.com or see www.ccb.ac.uk