Action from the Oceania Cup soccer carnival at Alstonville last year. Physiotherapists are reminding people to train properly before returning to sport in July. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus
Action from the Oceania Cup soccer carnival at Alstonville last year. Physiotherapists are reminding people to train properly before returning to sport in July. Photo Ursula Bentley@CapturedAus

Clubs warned about injuries when contact sport returns

SPORTS clubs on the Northern Rivers are being urged by the Australian Physiotherapy Association to have players physically ready before full-contact competition starts in July.

Government restrictions on club training are expected to ease, which could see sports like rugby league, rugby union and soccer back on the field by the first weekend in July.

Most clubs have not trained since March 17 when they were shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Hayward, from Physio Point Physiotherapy and Accupuncture at Casino, said people should be doing their own training now if they intend on playing contact sport in July.

"There is a high risk of injury if you haven't prepared properly for contact sport," Hayward said.

"They should be doing cardio fitness and as much strength and stretching activity as they can.

"The training should be specific to the sport, whether that be running around the block or doing lunges and squats daily.

"I would hope that all the coaches are working on a plan on how best to get their teams back on the field safely."

The Australian Physiotherapy Association says a carefully planned return to competitive sport can help avoid common sports injuries to hamstrings, knees, ankles, hips and groins.

Brooke Patterson is a physiotherapist from LaTrobe University Sport and Exercise Research Centre in Melbourne and also played in the AFLW competition with the Demons.

She said many Australians have been walking, running and cycling to maintain their fitness during quarantine.

"Maintaining general fitness from running and walking is great while competitive sport hasn't been possible, but we need to remind all teams and players that they need to return to sport gradually when restrictions ease," she said.

"As a competitive sportsperson myself, I'm itching to get back out onto the footy field and be with my teammates, but we can't just jump straight back into high-speed running, agility and contact activities and expect we'll be fine.

"We need to return gradually.

"With proper training, we can avoid injuries that will wipe us out for the rest of the season."


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