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UNSUNG HEROES IN THE TENT

first_imgI’d heard rumours about the great job that the Permits medical staff do for their teams, but it wasn’t until I took a walk down to the Southern Suns medical tent and had a look at their physio and trainers in action, that I saw how valuable they really are. The Southern Suns have brought along three trainers and a physio to this year’s NTL and one of the trainers, Laurie Atkins took some time to have a chat with me about their job and how they fit into the whole NTL equation. Laurie has been involved with the Suns as a trainer for several years now, and has a long history of Touch involvement, including playing representative Touch for the ACT back in 1982. A retired public servant, it’s obvious Laurie has a great passion for the sport and the players, as do the other men he’s working with. It’s also obvious how much the Suns players need and appreciate the work they do. All of the tables were being used and there was a steady stream of clients in and out, lining up for their treatment. Rob Hoy, is the local Coffs Harbour physio who has been helping the Suns out for around 7 years now. Mark Smith (or Jibbler as he’s known to everyone), is from Gundagai and has been helping out the Suns since before they were the Suns, when they were known as Riverina and District 1. And last but not least, John Choice, from Batemans Bay, is a qualified masseur and has been assisting the Suns for several years too. The medical team is the first and the last to leave, at the grounds bright and early to prepare and strap players for their games and at the grounds last to keep an eye on their charges and make sure there are no unforeseen injuries. According to Laurie most of what they see and deal with is general sprains and strains, grazes and management of old injuries, but what they get out of it is worthwhile for the enjoyment and the relationships. “We all love the sport itself and of course our jobs, but it is the chance to meet people and make different friends, as well as the opportunity to be able to help all of these players, that makes this so worthwhile,” he said. “We like to think that we have a role in these players success and that we’re part of the reason they can get out and play,” Laurie added. And that is most definitely the truth according to one of the Mens 50’s players, Tony Santolin from Griffith. “Especially in our age group, the Mens 50’s, these guys are the ones that help us get through our games. Without them we’d not only be in pain but we probably wouldn’t be able to move,” he said. “We can rely on them to always be there to help us out, most of the time it’s just for freeing tight muscles, but often they help people get off crutches and onto the playing field.” Once again, we discover another aspect to the sport of Touch that doesn’t get the thanks or the recognition of others. They work long hours and help us get out onto the fields. Their contribution is awesome. By Rachel Moyle, media@austouch.com.aulast_img

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