Young athletes should take time to chill
Sports tournaments are an opportunity to educate athletes about how to prepare and recover well for sport.
The Anchor AIMS Games is the biggest school sporting tournament for 11-13 year olds in New Zealand. It's taking place in Tauranga this week, with over 11,000 young athletes participating across 22 codes.
Fun but hard on young bodies
“This tournament is great fun and offers excellent opportunities for team development. But tournament play can also mean high demands on developing bodies” says John Lammas, ACC Sports Injury Prevention Manager.
“Applying practical warm-up techniques is having an impact. So is considering participants' wellbeing beyond the game or race. Last year, these efforts were a contributing factor in reduced injuries during AIMS.”
We're involved to help educate young participants and their coaches about how to prepare and recover well from sport.
Our national sporting partners, Netball NZ, NZ Rugby, and NZ Football have been helping teams prepare for the event. They focus on education around warming up and recovering from strenuous activity. They also provide information on the principles of concussion identification and management.
This week, our partners will be providing structured warm-up sessions, specific to their sporting code, based on the ACC SportSmart Warm Up.
Concussion is a big concern in many sports and across life in general. Young people can be at risk as recovery from concussion generally takes longer. "We'll work with coaches and players this week to help recognise, remove and refer players for treatment if they suspect a concussion," says Lammas.
“We're also adding a new element to AIMS Games this year with our chill out zones.”
Chill out zones are designated cool-down areas. Participants can use these zones to take time out to let their body rest before the next game. This acknowledges the demands of a tournament structure on young bodies. We'll also help with treatment where needed with physiotherapists and sport medicine physicians.
Vicki Semple is the Tournament Director of the Anchor AIMS Games. “It’s good to have the partnership with ACC SportSmart. We want to ensure safe participation by young athletes, but also help improve injury management for the tournament as a whole. I’d encourage all teams, coaches and managers to visit one of the ACC SportSmart warm up and chill out zones.”