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‘Never Say Die’ Attitude Keeps Medics Busy at the Games

‘Never Say Die’ Attitude Keeps Medics Busy at the Games

On day four at the Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games the Sports Injury Clinic co-ordinator Graeme Harvey said he and his medic team had treated 200 competitors with injuries. The sports medic holds to the philosophy that many New Zealanders have a certain colonial psyche where they ‘never say die’ and this contributes to the rate of injuries.

Graeme says, “I have an English medical student working in the injury clinic and she says this would never happen in the UK.

“The majority of competitors do come prepared with some physical training behind them and they do engage in warm up exercises before they play, however because of the competitive nature of the sports it tends to be the excess force they apply on the day that leads to injuries.

“People won’t believe they are as old as they are”.

Most injuries have been lower leg related: hamstrings, pulled muscles and ankle sprains.

Over the first weekend the two largest team competitions, netball and football, were held. Football, with a total of 800 competitors, had 25 injuries on the first day and has been the only sport to date where an injured player has had to be referred to ED. The footballer had a neck injury. Netball had 30 injuries on the first day.

Pauline Purser (91yrs) from Tauranga, while injury free at the Games, could be charged with that colonial psyche. Pauline has had a broken pelvis and had two hips replaced but she was at the Games throwing the hammer, discus, javelin and shot put. When asked why she does the throws, she exclaimed, “I still have two good arms!”

The Games in Dunedin is served by three Doctors, seven physiotherapists and 15 sports medics who between them operate a main injury clinic at the Edgar Sports Centre and five satellite clinics at different sport venues around the city. A massage service is also offered daily at the Games Village.

Graeme Harvey expects the list of injuries to grow later this week when ice hockey, basketball, touch and futsal matches begin.

Dunedin February 1-9


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