Walking into the clinic, PhysioFirst Sylvania, it’s easy to see why at just 39 years of age Con Pavlidis has been deemed one of the top physios in Sydney, Australia . With charisma and his passion for health and fitness, ex representative football player Con is not only fantastic at what he does, he has a top personality to match.
Greek City Times sat down with Con to learn more about his Greek ancestry and get the inside scoop on Physiotherapy and all things football.
Where is your family from in Greece?
My dad comes from the Northern part of Greece, a place called Kastoria, and my mum comes from the Greek island of Chios. They both migrated to Sydney, Australia in the 1970’s and I grew up in Earlwood.
What is your favourite part about your Greek heritage?
When I think about my family migrating from Greece, I think about the culture, the beautiful language and my favourite part - having an abundance of food for any occasion!
What is your favourite Greek food?
Despite how inviting a lamb yeeros can be, I still have a place for a more traditional dish “Pappoutsakia” (Booties). This is a mouth-watering oven baked dish where an Eggplant is filled with meat and rice and covered with bechamel sauce. A speciality my Yiayia used to make and my Mum still makes!
Where did your interest in physiotherapy come from?
I played soccer from a young age. As the game got more serious and intense, it also unfortunately came with some serious knee injuries. This led to numerous hours on the physiotherapy table for my rehabilitation. My interest grew from there because it enabled my love of sport to be coupled with diagnosing and helping others overcome their injuries.
What pathway did you take to become a physio?
It’s a bit of a long boring history! In short I attended University for 7 years and ended up with 3 degrees in the health sector. I have 2 Masters Degrees in Physiotherapy and Sports Physiotherapy. People close to me would say I enjoyed the university ‘lifestyle’ more than anything, which is largely true although it definitely shaped me to be the man I am today.
What is the best part of being a physio?
Every client telling me they have the worst back problems I will ever see! Or when your client tells you their pain level is a 15 out of 10 - you know there is a challenge coming.
Thankfully I work with my amazing clients via treatment plans, exercises and some humour, to restore them to their pre-injury best. I pride myself on building rapport and more importantly educating the person on their injury and what is needed to make positive changes.
What has been the biggest challenge in your physio career to date?
Initially it was ‘why are my clients not presenting exactly like the textbooks I learnt from?’ I have since understood everybody is unique and mastered how to apply my knowledge adequately. Now the biggest challenge would be running a growing business with multiple clinics and constantly educating my staff to have the same vision and passion I do.
How do you stay motivated to run your own business?
On one part my love for physiotherapy and desire to pass on my knowledge to others is something I thoroughly enjoy.
Although my biggest motivation is my family….mainly my kids…. Only joking! My wife Jessica and my kids motivate me daily to succeed in business. I am also very into health and fitness. I train multiple times a day which keeps me focussed and in peak physical condition. I can then impart that knowledge onto my clients, so my clients just aren’t doing as I say, they are also doing as I do.
We heard you’re an avid soccer fan and player - tell us a bit about your soccer history. Where did your passion for the sport come from?
It all stemmed from my father who played at a high level in Greece. Being the youngest of three boys, I watched my brothers playing at the representative level and watched hours of SBS soccer on TV as a kid.
I played for Sydney Olympic for 8 years, where I was able to create great memories and friendships. Sadly, my time playing high level representative football was bought to an end by multiple knee injuries.
I now play socially with some of my old professional team-mates. Although these days, getting to the ball first comes second to who can get to the bar first to order our first drinks!
Which team do you support and why? Who is your favourite player?
My beloved Gunners! That’s Arsenal football club in the UK for the non-footballers. My passion for the club started in the late 90’s. They played the most attractive style of soccer that also resulted in them winning numerous trophies.
Thierry Henry was the shining star of the team at that time, but I also enjoy watching clips of the late Diego Maradonna dominating world football in his era.
Thankfully I love the colour green which is the colour of my favourite Greek soccer club, Panathinaikos. And who can forget the heroics of the Greek national side in Euro 2004.