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Hear from a Rio physio in October

Emma Breheny
30 August 2016

At the time of writing, David Battersby, FACP, is in Brazil with the Australian women’s Olympic soccer team, the Matildas, preparing for their first ‘friendly’ game with the Brazilian team. At his appearance at the Queensland Members’ Dinner on 8 October, he’ll be reflecting on the experience of travelling with a team to the largest sports gathering in the world.

With long days and high expectations to perform, the Games can be as mentally gruelling as they are physically.

‘In the clinic you see people maybe twice a week, at most three times a week, whereas travelling with a team you’re seeing people every day,’ David says. ‘The pressure to get them back to training and playing is obviously far greater. Your decision making and your clinical reasoning become far more important.’

However, clinicians in all settings can take away lessons from David’s experience of working with sporting teams.

‘It’s important to have a good grasp on the evidence-based medicine and, secondly, be able to apply it with a strong base of clinical reasoning. Then, your judgements can be argued soundly whatever they may be. Because, at times, that’s exactly what you’ll have to do,’ he advises.

David’s career began over 20 years ago in private practice, where he continues to practise in addition to his sporting team commitments. As well as being one of two team physiotherapists for the Matildas, he consults for the Gold Coast Suns AFL team.

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The breadth of pathologies that he sees across the two sports and genders keeps him stimulated. He says the key to achieving these positions was saying yes to every opportunity.

‘I spent many late nights at football grounds in the cold, often by myself, learning. It’s all about getting yourself in a position where you can learn from more experienced physios. Whatever comes from that will be based on the fact that you’ve got that experience.’ He hopes that his presentation will highlight the diversity and scope of a sports physiotherapist’s day-to-day practice.

Register now for the QLD Branch Members' Dinner and Professional Excellence Awards, happening on 8 October.


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