Amateur athletes encouraged to take it easy returning to sport

An Auckland premier club rugby match between College Rifles and Ponsonby. Photo: Photosport

Winter sports are set to resume this weekend and ACC is encouraging people to ease back into the game so they can reach their potential without picking up a season-ending injury.

Sports injuries have been down during the Covid-19 lockdown – less than 14,000 compared with almost 90,000 in the same period last year, based on ACC claims.

ACC Injury Prevention partner Natalie Hardaker said it is inevitable there will be an increase in claims as thousands of people get back out onto the sports field, but ACC wanted to avoid a significant spike in the more serious injuries that can be prevented if players take time to prepare well.

“We’re encouraging people to play the long game and be smart in their approach to returning to sport,” she said.

“We can’t make up for time lost this season by coming back too quickly – that is more likely to lead to injury. We know that the most successful teams are the ones with the lowest injury rates Your teammates need you to still be out on the field with them at the end of the season.

“The good news is most of these injuries are preventable, so we really encourage coaches and players to take some simple steps: include a proper warm up into every training session, focus on physical conditioning, and take rest days to let your body recover.”

“As people get back into competition and contact sport, be aware that you will be working from a lower level of sport-specific fitness and this poses an increased injury risk,” Hardaker said.

“Make the most of this unusual season and enjoy being back with your teammates – don’t blow it by going too hard, too fast.”


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