A series of free workshops is being held across Rodney to introduce netball coaches to an initiative aimed at reducing players’ injuries by up to one-third.
The nationwide programme has been developed by ACC and Netball NZ, and is called the NetballSmart Warm-up. It is an evidence-based programme designed to be done by players prior to games and training.
It is being delivered in Rodney by Warkworth-based physiotherapist Olivia Simpson who says the programme also improves players performance through increased strength, balance and movement skills.
“As well as significantly reducing the risk of any injury, the research indicates this warm-up routine is particularly good at preventing serious knee injuries such as ACL ruptures,” Olivia says. “Last year, 400 netball-related ACL ruptures required reconstruction surgery, which puts it on a par with rugby.
“This is the first year the new Warm-up programme has been rolled out and it exciting to see a three-year process come to fruition. We hope the programme will mean a lot less devastating injuries, particularly among the 16 and 17-year-old players who are most at risk.”
The warm-up routine takes about 20 minutes and is based on the FIFA 11+ Warm Up.
Olivia says netball is a high injury sport because it is a powerful game that involves repeated landings and strict stepping rules. Knee and ankle sprains are common.
For that reason, strengthening exercises form a critical part of the training warm-up.