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Smart Message For Masters Games

2 July 2002

Taking the “bad luck” factor out of sports injuries will be one of ACC’s goals at next year’s ACC ThinkSafe New Zealand Masters Games in Wanganui.

The promotion of ACC’s SportSmart injury prevention programme at the last two New Zealand Masters Games has seen injuries drop significantly in many events but too many competitors are still putting their injuries down to just “bad luck”.

ACC SportSmart is a 10-point action plan for sports injury prevention that coaches and participants of all sports can use before, during and after play.
“Over half the competitors needing treatment at the last two Games blamed bad luck for their injuries,” Mr Wilson said as the 2003 Games were launched in Wanganui tonight.

“That suggests they felt there was nothing they could have done to prevent the injury, so we will be spreading the message next year that good management, not good luck, is what they need.”

Mr Wilson said ACC was striving to create a culture of injury prevention and management practice among all NZ Masters Games competitors, and that sponsoring the Games was a great way of achieving that aim.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for ACC to support one of New Zealand’s most popular and enduring sporting events while also spreading our message about preventing injuries, improving performance and enjoying the game,” he said.
“We want participants to take that message home and to spread the word around so that all sports people are out there competing, not sidelined with injury.”

The ACC ThinkSafe New Zealand Masters Games is New Zealand’s biggest annual sports event, and around 8500 competitors are expected to descend on Wanganui from February 1-9 next year.

The 2003 Games will involve 60 sports, with sheep shearing and carriage racing among the newcomers.

Statistics from the last two Games show injuries have dropped significantly in many events, particularly among organised team sports such as touch, soccer and netball, which had been specifically targeted by ACC in Dunedin this year.

The reported injury rate in Dunedin this year was 3.1%, down from 5.1% in Wanganui in 2001. Another encouraging point for ACC was the estimation that 75% of injured competitors reported their injuries this year, up from 50% the year before.

At next year’s Wanganui Games, ACC will be offering sports first aid courses to each code, and those who attend training will receive an ACC SportSmart first aid kit.

For more information on ACC SportSmart, visit www.acc.co.nz/sportsmart

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