Fiji Sports | SPORTS

Injury Worry

A senior surgeon involved with rugby is calling for the engagement of proper strength and conditioning coaches to lessen injuries among girls play­ing rugby in the school’s Raluve competition.
22 Sep 2022 11:49
Injury Worry
Lomary Secondary School Under-18 centre, Vani Delai (with ball), is stopped by players of Basden College during their Southern Zone’s Weet-Bix Raluve Trophy match at the HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, on August 27, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

A senior surgeon involved with rugby is calling for the engagement of proper strength and conditioning coaches to lessen injuries among girls play­ing rugby in the school’s Raluve competition.

Weet-Bix competition chief medi­cal officer Dr Josese Turagava, a surgeon by profession, made the call following the 28 injuries at­tended to by medical staff during the Weet-Bix Raluve Trophy quar­terfinals at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, last Saturday. There were four quarterfinals for the Raluve Under-16 and another four for the U18 grade.

According to Dr Turagava, of the 28 cases, three girls were taken to the health centre nearby while one was admitted until Monday morn­ing. Of the 28 cases recorded at Ratu Cakobau Park, there were 17 concussions and 11 soft tissue inju­ries and fractures.

Dr Turagava has been in charge of medics for the Deans competi­tion since 2014; the only girls’ teams taking part at the time were Jasper Williams High School (JWHS) and Ballantine Memorial School (BMS).

“The number of injuries was ex­pected. Injuries are expected know­ing that majority of these girls are playing competitive rugby for the first time,” Dr Turagava said.

“Most of the girls are unfit. To ease this problem, it must be compulsory to have strength and conditioning coaching staff. This is to minimise injuries. Much less injuries have been recorded among the boys.”

He said there were three ambu­lance runs: the others were man­aged in the medical rooms. Only one patient stayed overnight at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital for Computed Tomography (CT) scan. She was discharged on Monday morning.

“The 24-stretcher cases lifted from the ground were not unexpected. Predominantly, one school had more injuries because the players were not match fit,” he said.

“Rugby is a high-impact collision sport, in which players have to exert extreme force in order to ac­quire and maintain possession of the ball.”

Fiji Rugby Union’s (FRU) opera­tions manager, Sale Sorovaki, said they could not stop the girls from playing rugby because at the end of the day it was a pathway for many of them.

“It is advisable that schools en­gage qualified trainers, strength and conditioning coaches; rugby is a contact sport and there are bound to be injuries. While we’re excited to see the girls’ enthusiasm in play­ing rugby, it is our responsibility that they are taught the right way by specialists,” he said.

Going forward, Sorovaki said all teams must have proper strength and conditioning coaches to pre­pare teams better.

“In addition, there must be proper training in tackling techniques to avoid injuries,” he said.

Story By:  sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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