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The Role of a Podiatrist in Professional Sports Teams

One of the more favorite sports activities in Australia is Australian Rules Football (AFL). To those outside Australia it is regarded as relatively strange because they may see no sport similar to it, but are in awe of what marvelous athletes that those who participate in the sport at the professional high level are. It is a totally professional men's league of Australian rules football and it has been competed for over a hundred years. It started in the state of Victoria, but now other states have teams in what is now considered a nationwide league. The eighteen professional teams that compete in the AFL spend greatly in the sports sciences and sports medicine to get the best from the players in each club. The sports medicine staff with each team has a podiatrist included to help look after the foot injury and shoes needs of the athletes. The role of Podiatrists in the AFL in Australia is considered a template of how podiatry practitioners could be linked to professional squads around the world.

For one of the episodes of the podiatry related livestream, PodChatLive the hosts chatted with five of the podiatrists related to Australian Rules Football clubs to examine the world leading model for Podiatry within an elite sports competition and also the developing role of the recently formed, AFL Podiatry Association. The Podiatry practitioners which were on this event had been Ben Holland with the North Melbourne Kangaroos, Emma Poynton with the Western Bulldogs, Nicki Quigley with the Hawthorn Hawks, Todd Brown from the Geelong Cats and Tom May with the Adelaide Crows. They discussed the needs of AFL and how this has an effect on the athletes along with what the frequent injuries treated. There was a great discussion around the shoes used as well as the difficulties that can bring. There was additionally a chat with the preseason testing method that is normally adopted within the 44-man squads. The episode was broadcast live on Facebook, however is also available today on YouTube.