Gaborone — The importance of physiotherapists in sport cannot be overemphasised, and www.focusphysiotherapy.com, says "they can bring dynamics to the warming up, conditioning, muscle activation as well as the recovery of players."
Team Botswana that competed at the just ended 21st Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) African Senior Championships did not have a physiotherapist, something which is said to have cost the country a 4x400 metre relay medal in the finals.
Nijel Amos, who was running the second leg, could not finish his lap after receiving the baton from Leaname Maotoanong, after pulling a hamstring and had to pull out of the race in the 150-metre-mark.
The Botswana quartet, who were the defending champions, watched helplessly from the sidelines as Kenya cruised to the finish line to dethrone Botswana of its bragging rights.
Team Botswana assistant coach, Isaac Mbise admitted that the team did not have a physiotherapist, adding that had they travelled with one, maybe Amos could not have been injured, or he/she could have detected the problem before the race and a different athlete could have been fielded.
One of the 4x400 metre relay team members, Onkabetse Nkobolo said Amos' injury was not that severe and a physiotherapist could have dealt with it.
"To be honest, lack of physio contributed to our failure to defend our title. I think if it is possible next time we should at least travel with one coach to cater for the physio," he said.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president, Thari Mooketsi admitted that the team did not travel with a physiotherapist due to financial constraints. Research shows that it is a necessity for every team be it football, boxing, karate or athletics to travel with a physiotherapist to their respective competitions.
The team physiotherapist is said to be one of the most important assets any coach can have when working with a team due to the high intensity of matches, tournaments and training sessions.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>