ACC and the Vodafone Warriors have teamed up to show more than 22,000 New Zealand school children how to prepare well for sport and, on May 18, it will be Waikato schools that will have a chance to learn from rugby league great Jerome Ropati.
The warm-up is part of the ACC SportSmart programme aimed at reducing injuries in sports. Being well prepared before, during and after sport can help to reduce the chance of injury and make sure everyone’s having more fun. It’s a message the Vodafone Warriors are happy to spread.
“For me, this is one of the things I’ve really incorporated into my life,” says Vodafone Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
“I know that by preparing well every time I train and play that I’ll give myself the best chance of being able to play to the best of my ability.
“I know what it’s like to be on the side-lines, watching the boys out on the field. It’s not fun. I’d rather be out there, running around.”
That’s something ACC would like for all New Zealanders. In 2016, there were more than 15,000 claims for injuries from rugby league. While most of them are minor, there are a few more serious injuries which can be prevented.
“Simple things like an effective warm-up can help players avoid many injuries. We want to have healthy, active kiwis enjoying a lifetime of sport, not side-lined with serious injuries,” says Isaac Carlson, ACC’s Sports Injury Prevention Manager.
“Most of the claims we see are for soft tissue injuries, which don’t generally require too much time on the side-line, but are definitely annoying to get. But what we’d really like to see is a decrease in claims for the more serious injuries, which can affect people’s independence, ability to be active and play sport, and ability to earn a living.
“By working with the Vodafone Warriors and school children, we can give them the skills and knowledge now that will help them as they progress through the grades, and might see them one day playing for the Vodafone Warriors themselves.”
ACC is working with partners in all of New Zealand’s popular sporting codes to reduce injuries, with programmes in rugby league, rugby union, netball, football and touch.