apple + cape town + physical therapy + tennis = Gretel Hach
my life: past, present and future
My name is Gretel Hach. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa on September 1, 1982. At the age of 12 I immigrated with my family to a town called Tuttlingen in Germany. I lived in Germany for five years during which I completed the tenth grade at the Ludwig Uhland Real School. Thereafter my parents awarded me a two month stay at the John Newcomb’s Tennis Academy in New Braunfels Texas for my perseverance and hard work at mastering the German language and thus achieving my middle school degree.
It was here that I was introduced to the college tennis scene. However, in order for me to play college tennis I had to complete high school. Boarding School in Stellenbosch South Africa became my home for the next two years where I matriculated from Rhenish Girls High School in December 2001. I then got a full tennis scholarship to Delta State University in Cleveland Mississippi. I began my degree in Exercise Science. 2002 was a year full of new and exciting adventures. I finished my first semester at college in May, then began working as a tennis instructor at the local country club in Cleveland for a couple of months before travelling to Philadelphia to The Julian Krinskey’s School of Tennis Camp where I began as one of 50 other tennis instructors to teach 200 kids the game of tennis. I then was promoted to Chicago. I was to open a new camp with one other tennis instructor and two golf instructors in a small town on Lake Michigan called Lake Forest.
January 2003 I transferred to The University of Texas at Arlington, also on a full tennis scholarship. I graduated fall of 2006 with a Bachelor of Science. From January 2007 till January 2008 I taught at Canyon Creek Country club as tennis professional.
Bachelor of Exercise Science
Physical Therapy Technician
P1 Tennis Professional
Home Country and City:
“Home is where I hang my hat”, people say.
Well, I guess I need more than one hat. I have moved around quite a bit in my life to the point that I no longer refer to home as one country. The following are the three main countries I have grown up in.
Cape Town, South Africa
According to the 2007 Community Survey Cape Town has a population of 3.5 million people. It is South Africa’s top tourist city. Cape Town is famous for its harbor also known as the Waterfront and its well known sites such as Table Mountain and Cape Point also known as the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet. South Africa has a strong primary industry in coal mines and diamonds.
In the 1948 elections the national party won on a platform of apartheid also known as racial segregation. This led to the separation of black and white residential areas. Blacks were forced out of their homes and relocated into all black neighbourhoods. The apartheid ended with the election of the new black party, the ANC, in 1994
Tuttlingen lies in the South of Germany between Lake Constance and the Black Forest in the province known as Baden Wuerttemberg. The town is built around the Honberg Mountain where a ruined fort built in the middle ages still stands and is a site for festivals and concerts. A fire in 1803 destroyed most of the town and only a small section of the original town remains. Today the town is home to approximately 35000 people. Tuttlingen has a large surgical equipment industry. Fifty percent of the world’s surgical equipment is manufactured in this town.
Dallas, Texas, USA
Dallas is the third largest city in the state of Texas and the ninth largest in the United States. As of June 23, 2008 U.S. Census estimates the population of Dallas at 1,232,940 people. Dallas –Fort Worth metropolitan area is the fourth largest in the States at 6.1 million people. It is home to the biggest oil firm in the world, Exxon Mobile.
Reason why I chose Amsterdam and the ESP program:
I completed my Bachelor of Science in Arlington Texas in 2006 after which I worked for a year as a tennis professional at a country club in Dallas. After being so far away from home for over 6 years it was time to move back to Europe.
As an EU inhabitant I am able to go to school anywhere within Europe without too many complications. I narrowed my search down to English Speaking Physical Therapy Programs and thus stumbled across the ESP in Amsterdam. It was also important to me that the school I enroll in have high credentials and be well recognized throughout Europe. After doing some research I chose to apply to the ESP Program. The fact that my sister lives in Amsterdam and my parents close by in Germany is an additional bonus.
The European School of Physical therapy offers a well rounded degree with hands on work. The school attracts students from all over the world. Students are encouraged to travel and do internships in foreign countries thus teaching students to keep an open mind to new and improved methods of treatment from all over the world. It is always good to get a second opinion and listen to other ideas and ways of solving problems.
I chose this career because……
I chose to become a physical therapist because I want to become a health care provider promote wellness and spend time treating and interacting with patients.
Growing up, I always had an interest in sports and natural sciences. I was greatly influenced by my parents. My father is a surgeon (physician) and my mother a tennis instructor. I had the advantage of seeing both worlds. In the holidays I would work at my father’s practice. Here I learnt how fulfilling it is to help others. The difference between a physician and a physical therapist is a physician sees his/her patients once or twice while a therapist has the opportunity/advantage of leading a patient throughout his/her recovery period and watching the patients progress.
My mother taught me tennis at the age of 3. As a competitive tennis player I had my fair share of injuries and thus became familiar with the physical therapy profession. Physical therapy combines my interest in medicine with my athletic background. I hope one day to help athletes overcome injuries just like I once was helped.
Future Internship Ideas:
In the past I have completed internships in various fields of physical therapy. I worked in Dallas,Texas as a technician with orthopedic physical therapists for a year, and then volunteered at a center for neuro skills and at a post rehab center for disabled individuals. I learnt how to assist patients with prescribed therapeutic exercises, apply hot and cold pads, perform ultrasound, etc.
I would like to use the opportunity given by the ESP school to travel abroad and do internships in practices in foreign countries, such as USA, Australia, South Africa and perhaps Germany. My biggest dream would be to work as a physical therapist for a professional sports team.
My ultimate goal is to open my own training facility for professional athletes with a pool, track and field, weight room and so on. A center that focuses on each individual athlete’s performance needs and goals, with a team of coaches, trainers, therapists, nutritionists that are experts in movement, metabolic, strength, power, agility, nutrition and recovery.
Bilderdijkstraat 3 III, 1052 NA Amsterdam
I am a third year student at the European School of Physical Therapy(ESP). The school lies in the south east part of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is both the capital and largest city in the Netherlands. It is famous for its 18th century architecture, its museums such as the Van Gogh and Anne Frank , and its endless canal system. The town has excellent public transportation. Most, however choose to bike.
Bikes are the most effective way of getting around Amsterdam. If you walk through the city, you see as many as 750,000 bikes, all seem to be worn down, half broken and protected with enough locks to guard Fort Knox. If you walk through the city, you see as many as 750,000 bikes, all seem to be worn down, half broken and protected with enough locks to guard Fort Knox. Nevertheless, each year over 100,000 bikes are stolen and sold on the black market.
The ESP Program is an international program offered to students all over the world. The accelerated three year Bachelor of Health (Physiotherapy) degree is taught entirely in English. Each student is required to complete three internships of their choice in the summer vacations. However, students may choose to do their internships in their home country or elsewhere.
So far it is an interesting challenge and so much fun….I’ll keep you updated