Comm Games: Gold Coast 2018 vs New Delhi 2010
We have all finished watching the spectacle that rolls around every 4 years – The Commonwealth Games.
I was fortunate to travel as a physiotherapist for the Tongan National team to the 2010 Games in New Delhi, India.
It was my first International tour with a large team consisting of coaches, managers, medical staff and of course the athletes.
Team Tonga 2010 (minus the Rugby 7s players) at the Opening Ceremony
Notable team members are Bronze medalists – Junior Fa (flagbearer) and Lomalito Moala both boxers plus an International calibre boxing coach Lolo Heimuli (MMA fighter Mark Hunt’s coach).
Our 2010 Commonwealth Games team consisted of weightlifters, boxers, one swimmer, an archer and our Rugby 7s team.
It was a great mix of athletes and it gave me insight to an array of different body shapes and sizes plus the demands of their chosen sport on their bodies.
I am very experienced in the Rugby space and have traveled locally, interstate and Internationally for different Rugby teams. From age group teams, State Senior Women and Men, National level teams and professionally with the Melbourne Rebels program.
The Commonwealth Games was completely different beast to manage!
I was in a foreign country, with a lot of athletes I had met and managed for the first time, had to liaise with managers and coaches from different sports plus we had time pressures to juggle and athletes had to be prepared well before competition.
Rugby 7s team. Players were selected from Tonga, Australia, New Zealand and USA to represent our Pacific Island!
My physiotherapy management would include sports taping, myofascial/manual release work, dry needling, joint mobilisations, therapeutic ultrasound, hot/cold shunting, dynamic and passive stretching and soft tissue massage to keep the athletes warm and loose before competition and recover quickly post competition.
Being a travelling sports physiotherapist is a rewarding and challenging position that requires a lot of preparation, expertise and flexibility allowing athletes to perform optimally and assist in the general management of coaches and managers.
I congratulate all the athletes that participated in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and acknowledge the armies of support staff and volunteers that help athletes perform their best while often being in the background!