Earlier this year, in February, I spent 10 very fortunate days at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Surrounded by other sports physiotherapists from around the country we prepared for a gruelling few days of information overload.
The course, as part of the sport physiotherapy program, is designed to equip physiotherapists with the knowledge, practical applications, and intricacies of dealing with athletes, sports injuries and the rigors of the elite sporting world.
We were joined by world-class sports physiotherapists, doctors, coaches, and athletes who were generous enough to impart their wealth of knowledge and experiences. Our educators included the likes of world-renowned tendon gurus Ebonie Rio and Craig Purdam who have revolutionised tendon management with their latest research.
We discussed all things hamstrings with the Head of Athletics at the AIS, Sports Physiotherapist, Ben Raysmith, and Sports Doc, Dr. Lari Trease who has attended multiple Olympic games, headed up Rowing Australia and is now working with the Australian Paralympic Team. They taught us all there was to know about medical imaging and being on tour.
One of the highlights was definitely experience a training session with Australia’s current record holder in the 100m, Melissa Breen, alongside her coach Matt Beckenham. We suffered through a typical session that Matt would take with his sprinters, working on a typical warm up, strength and technical coaching.
The swimming practical was another highlight, where we went through the correct diving and swimming technique as well as being hooked to a machine that dragged us across the pool at current Olympic world record pace. It was FAST, 21 seconds to cover 50m. The swimmers use this contraption to train their techniques at high speeds, in order to learn to work with the forces and drag produced at this pace, but the majority of us were happy just to get to the other side alive.
This was just a snapshot of things that were covered in the days that I was there. I’m so grateful to everyone that was able to dedicate their time and experience to make sure the next batch of sports physiotherapists are up to scratch. And of course, very lucky to have made some great like minded friends from all over the country.