North Shore Times : January 28th 2014
www.northshoretimes.co.nz SPORT NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 28, 2014 23 Athletes taking health risks Rugby the undoubted leader in ACC injury stakes By FELICITY REID Injured young athletes are facing pressure to return to action before they are ready. ‘‘Not only though is there pressure from coaches and parents, but from the athletes themselves,’’ Ashley Lake, principal physiotherapist at Milford Physiotherapy, says. ‘‘Athletes of all ages and levels want to get back to their sport as soon as possible, often risking re-injury in the process.’’ Even minor injuries can be made a lot worse if they are not healed before returning to competition, Lake says. This risk reduces gradually over time after an injury has occurred. ‘‘My advice is if in doubt get check by a registered health care professional and don’t play with pain. ‘‘It is not a good idea to mask pain with painkillers, or anti-inflammatory drugs, you risk injuring yourself even more.’’ Lake is mostly worried about how concussion is managed. ‘‘Concussion is a major con- cern particularly in young rugby players,’’ he says. ‘‘It is known that players will try and hide symptoms of concussion from coaches and peers, so they can play on. No player wants to miss a minimum of three weeks off their sport. The risks are however just too great.’’ Lake has worked with secondary school and club rugby teams and says concus- By SHANE COWLISHAW Thousands of young people injured themselves while playing sport last year, and the most common way they did so was playing our national game. Figures provided by ACC show just more than 21,000 claims were lodged in the first 10 months of last year by under-16s who were injured playing rugby. The cost of rugby injuries was $8.79m, more than double that of football, for which 11,911 claims were lodged, totalling $3.46m. Payouts for netball injuries for under-16s was third on the list at $3.3m, swimming fourth at $2.56m, and cycling fifth at $2.33m. According to the most recent Sport NZ survey, almost 400,000 boys and girls aged between 5 and 18 played rugby in 2011. Football was even more popular, with 460,000 participants, basketball recorded 367,000 players, and swimming was one of sion should not be treated lightly. ‘‘If a second concussion occurs while the brain is still recovering, more fluid may rush to the area, increasing pressure in the skull. This can cause permanent brain Sidelined: Injured athletes often return to sport too soon, health care professionals say. Photo: DANIEL KALISZ/GETTY IMAGES the more popular activities, with 613,000. New Zealand Rugby Union medical director Ian Murphy says the introduction of injury prevention programme RugbySmart in 2001 had seen a steady decline in serious injuries, especially severe spinal injuries sustained in scrums. Law changes had also helped reduce serious damage and even death. ‘‘This can happen if a player returns to play that day or even weeks later if the brain has not fully recovered.’’ No concussed player should return to training or play for injuries and it was likely improved medical care meant more minor injuries were being reported. While more could be done and expansion of the RugbySmart programme was planned, there would always be a higher level of injuries in a contact sport. ‘‘At the heart of rugby there’s a contact element, and I believe that, while we a period of three weeks after being concussed, Lake says. After this period the player may only resume participation when they are symptom free and have received a medical clearance. With the next school sport should be looking to minimise dangerous impact, there’s a degree of inevitability there’s going to be some contact in the sport and an injury may happen. ‘‘If you were to have rugby without contact, I’m not sure you have got rugby.’’ ACC sport and recreation programme manager Isaac Carlson says claims for sporting injuries were season fast approaching, Lake encourages parents and coaches to get educated about injuries, as they are often the ones on the sidelines of youth matches. ‘‘Being prepared is the most important thing. Most increasing, probably due to better access to recreational activities and a rise in the popularity in cycling. The pleasing thing was that, while claims were up, they were mostly minor injuries, and serious claims were falling. In the past the main focus had been on the four big sports in New Zealand, rugby, football, rugby league and netball. A lot of work continued to be done in this area, working with each sport’s governing body, focusing on injury prevention, best practice and equipment, he says. But increasing attention was being given to recreational activities such as cycling, mountainbiking, running, snow sports, swimming and tramping. ‘‘That area’s a lot more challenging than the conventional sports ...the challenge we have with recreational is we have to target prevention methods across the whole population.’’ injuries will be minor, but if something does happen, you need to know what to do,’’ Lake says. He recommends teams have a simple first aid kit and bandages as well as ice or ice packs available. Fresh course ‘nice Classic seats get new home change’ Strong winds forced the organisers of the State Beach Series to change the swim leg in round nine of the series off Takapuna Beach, but it should be back to normal tonight for round 10. ‘‘It was a nice change for the majority of swimmers as it kept them in protected waters,’’ organiser Scott Rice says of January 21 alterations to the swim course. ‘‘I think with the run- ning in and out of the water it made it a tad longer. Certainly could be a course we look at in the future but for now it is a contingency course in very strong winds.’’ The series runs each Tuesday night until March 18 and includes swimming, running and stand up paddling events for adults and juniors. ❚ Visit beachseries.co.nz to find out how to sign up to take part. Sea spray: Swimmers get ready to enter the waves in round nine of the weekly beach series. Thousands more football fans will be able to take a seat at North Harbour Stadium next year to watch some the world’s up and coming superstars during the FIFA U-20 World Cup. More than 5000 extra seats Go to northshoretimes. co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see more photos taken by Scottie T Photography of the State Beach Series. which formed part of the famous Railway Stand at Dunedin’s Carisbrook will take on a new lease of life at the Albany stadium, bringing its capacity up to 25,000 when it plays host to FIFA’s second largest global football event. The seats, which were auctioned off last year as part of a Rotary fundraising initiative, were purchased following a funding boost from the Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. The seats will create a new Sand sprint: Junior runners take on the State Beach Series at Takapuna Beach. Photos: SCOTTIE T PHOTOGRAPHY fan zone for the world cup which is designed to appeal to the large youth footballplaying community in this country, says Dave Beeche, chief executive of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. The new seats are part of a significant upgrade for the stadium and will replace the current banks at the ends of the stadium. North Harbour Stadium manager Brian Doherty says he is delighted that the stadium management was able to give the once-famed blue seats a chance to seat sports fans again. ‘‘I know that many sports fans in this country have fond memories of Carisbrook, it was a truly iconic sports ground so we’re thrilled to be able to recycle these seats and give them a new home in Auckland where they will help to create many more memorable moments for Kiwi sports fans, and what better way to kick their new legacy off with the world’s biggest game coming to New Zealand seen by over 170 million people in over 100 countries around the world’’. The new seating zones will become known to fans during the tournament as ‘‘The Pen’’, a zone more than fitting with the seats’ student heritage, Beeche says. Work on the new seating will begin later this year. As well as hosting the final of the under-20 world cup, North Harbour Stadium will stage the opening match, four first-round matches, one round of 16 match together with a quarterfinal and semifinal.
January 24th 2014
January 30th 2014