Big Games… My Commonwealth games experience #GoldCoast2018

I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like to, but this week makes it one year since I decided to write my first blog!

So I thought I’d take a look back to the 2018 Commonwealth games April 4-15th #GC2018…

Attending the games held a special excitement, not only because they were hosted on the Gold Coast in Australia but the mere prestige of the games. The Commonwealth games are dubbed “the mini Olympics” ; Top athletes from all over the commonwealth coming together to compete at a level almostt comparable to the Olympics!

Travel to Australia in itself was the first leg of the journey and while luckily for me my trip from New Zealand (where I was situated on a previous tour) was only 3.5hrs, the team from Barbados travelled over 20+ hours before arriving on the Gold Coast.

Overcoming a bit of jet lag, adjusting to a new time zone and warm temperature were the first hurdles on arriving into the village. The village was sprawling and gradually bustled with energy as athletes begun to fill in. After settling in quickly, team Barbados’ athletes began their training and soon competition. The medical team all worked around the clock to provide coverage and medical support to Barbados’ 45 athletes in multiple disciplines (swimming, cycling, triathlon, netball, boxing, table tennis, badminton, shooting, track and field).

Days typically started and ended in the team physio room, early morning taping and strapping in preparation for training/competition and ended with hands on physio and massages for the next days play. During the day, physio included match/race coverage, time in recovery rooms, polyclinic visits, ultrasound/MRI investigations or in clinic rehab. Most of my time was spent with our netball team …our single team sport. Ensuring effective recovery and optimal injury management was key to allow the ladies to perform in a tightly packed schedule of matches and alternate training and match days. It was my first time working with the ladies and in the fast paced non-contact sport which sometimes indeed became physical resulting in one athlete suffering a mild concussion.

Physios play a crucial role in assisting coaches with general player management including managing training loads and injuries. Thus, physio input is important in guiding player selection to allow for the best players to compete.

Multi sport games provide opportunities and experiences like no other! Being able to interact with medical professionals and physios from all over the world is truly priceless and definitely one of the reasons I enjoy travel and the games. The inclusion of para athletes into the village and games also made the Gold Coast experience even more special.

The Commonwealth games completed my third participation as physio in a medical team and made for a challenging but memorable one on the Gold Coast!

Countries of the Commonwealth

Africa– Botswana,Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda,United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia

Americas– Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

Asia– Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka

Europe– Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom

Pacific-Australia, Fiji Islands ,Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

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