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Physios integral at Commonwealth Games

Photo: Australian Physiotherapy Association
More than 25 sports physiotherapists will help keep Australian and international athletes in peak condition at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

For Kylie Holt, deputy head physiotherapist and member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the event marks her third Commonwealth Games as an official of the Australian team.

A promising track and field athlete in her younger years, a series of injuries cut Holt’s career short, leading to her eventual path of physiotherapy.

Her own personal experience now gives her a unique perspective on the mindset of elite athletes, ideal in a competitive environment such as the Commonwealth Games.

“The majority of athletes routinely access a sports physiotherapist in their daily training environment, so the role of the team physiotherapist during the Commonwealth Games is to continue the current treatment and management plan, both in the clinic in the games village as well as attending training and competition,” said Holt.
“In addition, we are on hand to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate any new and acute injuries that occur, as well as make refinements or adjustments, as necessary, to the ongoing management strategies.”

Holt said the Commonwealth Games environment did present some different challenges to physiotherapists though, resulting in some necessary changes to the daily routine when working with elite athletes.

“Given the compressed, intense nature of the competition period, as well as the significance of the Games as an event to all athletes, the sports physiotherapists are integral to the process of athlete preparation and performance,” said Holt.

“The sports physiotherapists are working very closely with the team sports physicians, athletes and coaches to provide elite care, sometimes with a very short turnaround time.”

Generally, Holt advises competitors stick to their normal routine of treatment and recovery.

“Don’t feel like you have to access more just because it is available.

“However, it is important that any new niggle or injury is assessed and managed early to ensure you get the most out of your competition days.”

Holt will be based at the Games’ medical headquarters, where physios will work in shifts treating athletes from a range of sports, including those from countries who do not bring their own support staff.

“The integral role of the sports physios in the sports medicine team, combined with the elite, multi-sport environment, provides a stimulating, challenging and rewarding environment in which to work.

“And the excitement of a home Games is just the icing on the cake!”

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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 (www.stellacomms.com) and a children's author.