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Injury prevention earns sports accolades for Southern Cross students


Charles Wood
27 October 2020

Seven Southern Cross University students have kicked a big goal by helping the Tweed Coast Tigers AFL club significantly reduce the number of competition and training injuries in the 2020 season.

The students are studying a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and focused on injury prevention and recovery for the Tweed Coast Tigers AFL Club as part of a placement program. At an end-of-season ceremony this month, the club congratulated the students and presented each with a thank you gift for their valuable contribution.

“We wanted to recognise the contribution of the Southern Cross University’s sport and exercise program facilitating our players with immediate assistance and recovery programming that put our players on the mend quickly,” said club manager Hamish Mitchell.

“The warm up and warm down programs ensured our players were injury-free from the normal soft tissue injuries and therefore allowed us to have the maximum impact on the weekend with full squads being available most weeks.”

Dr Luke Del Vecchio, a Lecturer-Practitioner for the Sport and Exercise Science program, explained how he and the students collaborated to design and deliver a range of different programs to address concerns the club had raised.

“These results demonstrate clear outcomes and highlight the benefits of a student placement program for sporting teams, aligned to many of the University’s strategic goals,” he said.

“The fact that the club largely attributes their player well-being to the work of the seven students is something they and the University can be proud of, especially in dealing with COVID-related restrictions.”

The students are Isabella Hibble, Jared Blackford, Billy Pinch-Sheridan, Emily Melnik, Lachlan Suter and Mathew O'Keefe.

“It is highly beneficial to have such a thorough warm-up before training and games, followed by our unique cool-downs specifically individualised to the sport being played,” said Lachlan Suter, who’s in the third year of the Sport and Exercise Science degree.

“This placement opportunity has not only given us experience to what the industry is like but also friends, colleagues, and skills that we will take into our future careers, of which we hope to continue to work with the Tweed Coast Tigers."