Some of Australia’s top athletes have lent their support to a new social media campaign from the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) to highlight the increased risk of sports injuries after the long COVID-19 lay off.

Sydney Kings basketballer Brad Newley, Australian Opal Lauren Nicholson and Australian Diamonds netball squad members Jamie-Lee Price and Kiera Austin have put together a series of return to sport warm up and exercise videos with their team physios.

The APA led social media campaign reinforces its earlier community call to ensure Australians returning to sports training do so in an appropriately graded manner.

APA National President Phil Calvert said, “Restarting community sport across the country is key to our COVID-19 recovery. Now that we have the green light to get started we need to makes sure widespread injuries don’t further sideline community sports people from doing what they love.”

“We’ve already seen some significant pre-competition injuries among some of our AFL and soccer players so it’s clear that there is an increased risk of injury to athletes if they train too hard, too soon.”

The campaign features elite athletes going through a series of warm up exercises designed to reduce injury risk by progressively building training load through a combination of targeted strength and balance exercises. These include landing techniques, ankle sprain reduction exercises, quad, knee and calf strengthening exercises to support the safe return to these popular sports.  

Ms Nicholson said, “After such a long time off training and competition, my body was not in the right physical shape for a return to the court, despite the fitness levels I maintained in quarantine through other activities. These warm up exercises are so important to ensure I am ready to hit the court in the best possible physical condition.”

Mr Calvert also called for sports clubs and individuals to consult their local physio to help prepare a safe return to sports training program to ensure optimum performance with minimal injury risk.


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