Out and About

Sports injuries

The Australian way of life often includes a lot of time outdoors – whether it be kicking the footy in the local park, mucking around in the back yard, walking through the bush, or playing organised sport. It’s great to get out and about in the fresh air – and to stay fit and healthy. But it’s also important to try and reduce the risk posed by ‘the great outdoors’ as much as possible.

Why are so many people injured playing sport?

Different injuries are more common with different sports. Many people are injured if they are not adequately prepared or don’t have the proper equipment.

Many people are injured if they are not adequately prepared or don’t have the proper equipment

No matter what the sport, however, there are some general rules that can reduce the risk that you’ll be carried off and have to visit a doctor or physiotherapist:
  • Make sure you’re adequately warmed up and stretched before you play
  • Wear the protective gear appropriate to your sport, whether it be a helmet, knee pads, gloves or football boots
  • Know the basic rules of the game at the level you play it. This helps you predict what’s going to happen and what other players may do
  • Play in an area suitable for the sport you’re playing, clear of obstacles, bumps and slippery surfaces
  • Make sure your equipment suits your age group and/or size – don’t use the full-sized versions until you are ‘full sized’
  • If you are playing with smaller children, or you’re the smallest in a group of young people, use equipment suitable for the smallest members of the group
  • Stick to the rules and focus on the objectives of the sport.
Are there dangers beyond the field I should think about?

If you notice someone watching you or your team intently, who doesn’t seem to know anyone or have any connection to the sport or its players, tell your coach or parents. There may be an innocent explanation – that the person used to attend your school or play your sport, for instance – but it is possible that the person is unsafe around young people.

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