While the world’s attention turns to the 6,600 athletes competing in this week’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it is the precision work happening behind the scenes that is ensuring that athletes competing across the 18 sports stay in top condition for their events. Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) members are an integral part of every athlete’s support team.

Deputy head physiotherapist Kylie Holt has over 20 years’ experience working with elite athletes, and Gold Coast marks her third Commonwealth Games as an official of the Australian team. A talented junior national track and field athlete, Kylie chose to study physio after a series of injuries cut her athletic career short. However, her experience gives her a unique perspective on the mindset of elite athletes and how to keep them in peak physical condition. Her work involves treatment and review of the biomechanical, technical and injury rehabilitation aspects of athletes’ training regimens.

Kylie’s advice to competitors at the Games is “Stick to your 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.”

Kylie will be working at the Games’ medical headquarters, where physios will work in shifts treating athletes from a range of sports and countries who do not bring their own support staff. Some of these sports include badminton, wrestling, diving, triathlon, weightlifting, beach volleyball and squash.

Michael Reynolds, chair of the APA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee and head physio at Sydney’s Northern Tigers Football Club will be working at the Games Village Polyclinic, a multidisciplinary clinic delivering 24 hour injury and musculoskeletal assessment, diagnosis and treatment services for athletes. Treatments include GP primary care services and specialist sports injury care for all athletes and team officials and is particularly valuable to teams who do not have capacity to bring their own support staff.

“Working at the polyclinic will see physios treating and managing a really wide range of conditions, whether it be the acute phase of injuries, or continuing particular rehab treatments to ensure athletes get through their competition intact. This diversity often pushes our clinical expertise to the limit as we work to ensure the best outcomes for each athlete. It’s a great atmosphere and privilege to be working with some of the world’s best athletes.”

The APA has more than 25 elite sports physios working at the Games, with both Australian and international teams.

Kylie Holt and Michael Reynolds are available for further comment or interview.


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