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  • AFLW player turned physio offers breakthrough

    Author: Nicole Madigan

A former AFLW player is making her mark off the footy field, introducing a game-changing physiotherapy solution expected to revolutionise the way athletes and amateur sports lovers approach their return to play.

Decorated midfielder, Courtney Gum, who retired from the AFLW in 2019, launched the innovative system, known as Breakthrough Testing at her Kinetic Balance Physiotherapy clinic at Noarlunga.

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Utilising state-of-the-art VALD Performance equipment, Ms Gum said the system encompasses a series of tests and assessments specifically designed to evaluate an athlete’s capabilities following an injury providing precise insights on when their body is truly ready for a safe return to play.

Ms Gum said although she was no longer a professional athlete, she remained passionate about sports and the wellbeing of athletes.

“In the past, this type of testing was primarily available at universities, but our Breakthrough Testing now brings accurate performance assessments within reach,” Ms Gum said.

Ms Gum said the ability to access this type of testing would offer athletes a speedier recovery, but importantly, without risk of further injury.

“This system empowers us to work closely with athletes, formulating personalised plans that ensure their return to sport is not only timely but also safe,” she said.

Christies Beach and South Adelaide Football Clubs’ Savannah Rayner has already tried out Breakthrough Testing, reporting incredible results. Ms Rayner suffered an ACL injury eleven months ago, with her recovery journey closely monitored using both Breakthrough Testing and the VALD equipment.

She said the assessments had provided a clear picture of her progress, allowing the team at Kinetic to address remaining weaknesses and imbalances before determining her readiness to return to football.

“The use of Kinetic’s Breakthrough Testing has instilled me with confidence in my return to the game. It’s been a long road but knowing that both my mind and my body are ready for the challenge
has made all the difference,” said Ms Rayner.

Ms Gum said the invaluable results obtained through Breakthrough Testing served as a guiding light for the wider team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists at Kinetic Balance Physiotherapy.

“Armed with this data, they develop personalised plans and programs that ensure the most effective care tailored to each individual’s injury,” Ms Gum said.

“As someone who has experience the demands and challenges of professional sport firsthand, as well as the heartbreak of being sidelined due to injury, having this incredible technology available is
truly exciting. Our aim is to empower athletes returning from injury to once again reach their peak performance and excel in their chosen field,” she said.

But Breakthrough Testing isn’t just for professional athletes, the system can also benefit individuals recovering from surgery or “anyone striving to return to their best post injury.”

As a result of Breakthrough Testing’s initial success, Kinetic Balance Physiotherapy is set to launch competitive team testing, allowing sporting teams to evaluate their strength, agility, balance and
power against each other.

“The possibilities of Breakthrough Testing are endless and its impact on athletes and individuals seeking to make a triumphant return to their sport is truly transformative,” Gum said.


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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications ( and a children's author.