07Oct/16
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Improving the Health of Our Female Athletes

Female athletes go through a lot of challenges as they pursue their respective careers. They face similar hurdles male athletes take in an effort to improve their performance. With that being said, female athletes face a few extra issues concerning their health. Let us consider some of these issues today and how they are able to get timely aid and assistance to overcome these challenges in life.

The recent Olympics that happened in Rio had a total number of 11,303. A good number of these athletes are females each representing their own country. One of the most common issues female athletes face is when pointing out to women’s health is their menstrual cycle. This occurrence is oftentimes known to cause women a number of issues unpleasant symptoms, such as anxiety and bloating. Others feel relatively weak and there have been reports of female athletes losing their matches due to menstruation.

Extra measures are taken by female professional athletes to lessen the likelihood that menstruating will interfere with their activities. With the help of modern age and technology, IUDs and hormonal birth controls have become quite a popular alternative that cause fewer or no periods for the time being. This is great especially when one is running or swimming as they don’t need to wear pads that can hinder their movement.

A number of female athletes experience a condition known as hypothalamic amenorrhea which can be advantageous while their professional sport careers are on the line. This is condition is known to stop menstruation for several months due to a problem involving the hypothalamus. This is typically common to endurance athletes, like runners or triathletes, who are exceptionally lean. Their period typically comes back as normal once these athletes scales back her activity and gains weight.

Unexpected child birth can also halt a professional female athlete’s career for a considerable period of time. This is the reason why female athletes are advised to consider family planning using contraceptives to avoid carrying an unexpected child during the tournament. It should be noted that as of writing, maternity grants of leave for professional female athletes does not exist yet. Of course, you can’t stop an Olympic game just because of a menstrual cycle and many female athletes feel just the same. Careful planning seems to help prepare both their bodies and mind if they are expecting a period.

It is good to hear that female athletes today are given a number of options on how to stop their menstrual cycle. The growing number of professional female athletes in the present is pretty encouraging to see. Their sheer numbers give a positive feedback showing the world that issues such as menstrual cycle and other related problems did not completely stop them from achieving their dreams.

Maternity leave for professional female athletes is still something that needs to be looked upon and studies further. Hopefully, sports organizations will be able to come up with a timely and effectively solution on how to deal with health issues their female athletes are facing. What we can do today is to help spread the necessary information to the public helping shed some light on this particular issue. We hope to see more female athletes competing in sports events and having their needs attended as well.

07Oct/16
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Injuries & Treatments for Female Athletes

Athletes face different types of injuries throughout their entire course of their professional career. Some injuries are pretty minor while other injuries can ruin one’s career. Women in general are known to be in experiencing injuries which make it more important for them to practice caution. Let us look at the most common injuries & treatments female athletes face in training & competition.

One of the most common injury professional athletes experience are the stress fractures. Stress fractures are known as a fracture of a bone caused by repeated mechanical stress. Stress fractures oftentimes develop from cumulative repetitive forces insufficient to cause an acute fracture which is pretty common for athletes. The fatigued muscle transfers the overload of stress to the bone which causes a tiny crack known as a stress fracture. It has also been shown through various studies that women have a higher incidence of stress fractures than men.

Fortunately, treating stress fractures is relatively simple as athletes need only to rest from the activity that caused the stress fracture, and engage in a pain-free activity during the six to eight weeks for it to heal. Aside from rests, athletes can also consider using shoe inserts or braces to help these injuries heal in a timely manner.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is also known to be a very common problem among female athletes. It is characterized by knee pain ranging from severe to mild discomfort seemingly originating from the contact of the back of the kneecap with the thigh bone. Runners, cyclists, basketball players and other sports participants are at risk in developing PFPS. A number of athletes who experience such issues engage themselves in conservative treatment which is considered to be quite effective. Most of the patients were able to relieve the pain through a variety of activities which include quadriceps muscle stretches, balanced strengthening, proprioceptive training, hip external rotator strengthening, orthotic devices, as well as effective bracing.

At least 6-month is required to see the results of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. However, if this program fails patients are suggested to pursue surgical treatment. Lateral release, proximal patellar realignment, or medial/anteromedial tibial tubercle transposition, that can be used for realignment of the patella in the trochlear groove and reduction of the patellofemoral pressure are one of the several surgical procedures found today.

Another common injury is with the Anterior Cruciate Ligament or is mostly known as ACL. ACL injury can be torn or sprained which often occurs with a sudden change in direction or pivot against a locked knee. Women are prone to non-contact ACL injuries due to the fact that they run and cut sharply in a more erect posture compared to men, while at the same time bend their knees less when landing from a jump.

Prevention is always better than cure and the same can also be said with regards to these types of injuries. Female athletes will be able to reduce the likelihood of them getting injured with proper strength training and conditioning. There is also leg muscle strength training and core training that can be done with a professional instructor. Coaches do help a lot especially since they are able to supervise and mentor their athletes on how to jump and land properly and avoiding any straight knee landing. Click here to learn more about treatment for such injuries.

08Sep/16

Great Australian Sporting Kitchens

The kitchen is the engine room for every athlete, it is where we refuel and load up on the necessary carbs to break those world and Commonwealth records. However, it is also more than that, it needs to inspire those who wish to tread the boards of sporting greatness to look after themselves. To make sure that nutritionally we are sound and able to cope with the rigours of competing at the highest level. A great Australian sporting kitchen must be a place where good ingredients come together with a passion for good cooking.

Great Australian Sporting Kitchens

Some of the best athletes in Queensland and around the nation are now eating organic food predominantly. They want the certainty of knowing that the things they are putting inside their bodies are pure, with no toxins or pollutants. They are prepared to pay a little extra to get the very best for their bodies. They are taught that your body is a temple and should not be desecrated with fast foods and other crap. If you want to be the best at what you do, reward your physical self with the very best stuff.

Great Australian sporting kitchens may require a whole new approach to the realm of culinary preparation. Out goes the microwave and in comes bench space, where homecooks can make amazingly fresh organic salads. Kitchen facelifts are happening around the country, as athletes prioritise the importance of eating right. Kitchen facelifts in Adelaide and Brisbane, in Sydney and Melbourne, in Perth and in Hobart. When you walk into your kitchen you want it to make you feel excited about cooking and preparing meals. It needs to speak to your soul and enthuse you to rattle the pans.

It may sound funny to say this but you can also warm up for training with a vigorous session in the kitchen. Real cooking can stretch you physically, as it involves bending and moving about. When you are really cooking you are chopping and stirring, you are washing and cleaning, and plating up. Movement is happening constantly, there is very little standing still. Cooking is not a sedentary and unhealthy pursuit. When you have a dream kitchen where you can extend your culinary abilities the sky is the limit. Great Australian sporting kitchens are full of space and brilliant design features. The surfaces are natural, whether wood, stone or steel. It is a tactile experience and it demands your best.

08Sep/16
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Sport Bringing Us Together: Able and Disabled Athletes

Reaching Sporting excellence is a goal available to all Australians regardless of age, gender or mobility level. Australian team sports for people with disability is growing at fantastic speed and the degree of participation is a testament to the fighting spirit of a famous sporting nation. The opportunities and challenges for athletes with disabilities in this country are both many and very real. The key message is inclusion while maintaining the integrity of the activity in question.

Being inclusive in homegrown sport is about providing a range of options to cater for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in the most appropriate manner possible. Inclusion encompasses a broad range of options in many different settings. Sometimes this may mean modifying a sport to provide a more appropriate version for particular participants. Modifying the rules or even the competition structure of a sport is nothing new. Most national sporting organisations in Australia provide modified versions of sports for their junior program, making the sport more inclusive, safe and fun for younger players.

Modifying sport to include people with disability is no different. In some situations, people with disability can be included with no modifications at all, and in other situations modifications may be needed. Modifications may only be minor, such as a change in a rule or piece of equipment which is of course straightforward, yet may provide significant assistance to an individual. Often major modifications are necessary, particularly for people with high support needs. Rather than modify the game’s rules or equipment for everybody just to include one person, it may only require a change for that person and depending on the extent of the change, it can either be done on the spot or require extensive planning.

Not all disabled sports are adapted however, several sports that have been specifically created for persons with a disability have no equivalent in able bodied sports. Sports for those with disabilities exist in four categories, physical, mental, permanent and temporary. In addition, organized sport for athletes with a disability will generally be divided into three broad disability groups: the deaf, people with physical disabilities, and people with intellectual disabilities. Each group has a distinct history, organization, competition program, and approach to sport.

The TREE model is a popular initiative in accordance with these principles by embracing the four essential elements of teaching style, rules, equipment and environment. Teaching style refers to the way the sport or activity is communicated to the participants. The way an activity is delivered can have a significant impact on how inclusive it is. Strategies you may use include, being aware of all the participants in your group, ensuring participants are correctly positioned (for example, within visual range), using appropriate language for the group, using visual aids and demonstrations, using a buddy system, using appropriate physical assistance — guide a participant’s body parts through a movement and keeping instructions short and to the point while checking for understanding.

Rules may be simplified or changed and then reintroduced as skill levels increase, for example, allowing for more bounces in a game such as tennis or table tennis, allowing for multiple hits in a sport such as volleyball, having a greater number of players on a team to reduce the amount of activity required by each player, reducing the amount of players to allow greater freedom of movement, regularly substituting players, allowing substitute runners in sports such as softball and cricket or shortening the distance the hitter needs to run to be safe.

Strategies to best utilise equipment may include using lighter bats or racquets or shorter handles, lighter, bigger or slower bouncing balls, balls with bells inside and equipment that contrasts with the playing area such as white markers on grass or fluorescent balls. Strategies to best modify playing environment may include reducing the size of the court or playing area, using a smooth or indoor surface rather than grass, lowering net heights in sports such as volleyball or tennis, using zones within the playing area and minimising distractions in the surrounding area.

Changes do not have to be permanent, some may be phased out over time as skills and confidence increase. Disability Sports Australia is Australia’s peak national body representing athletes with a physical disability. Formerly known as Australian Athletes with a Disability, it changed its name to Disability Sports Australia during 2013. The change reflects a contemporary evolution and vital work achieved in engaging people of all abilities across Australia from grass roots to elite level athletes who compete or work in sporting endeavours.

07Sep/16

Disabled Sports for Women

The Australian delegation for this year’s Rio Paralympics is composed of 177 athletes, of which 74 are women. Almost half of the country’s representatives will make their debut in the Paralympics. This sporting event shows that even the disabled can compete in the international sporting arena.

Women and Sports

Disabled or not, women can excel even in sports. Thanks to Paralympics, women with disabilities can realize fully their sports potentials. For those who are not Paralympic-material yet, they can participate in disability activities in South West Sydney. Nonetheless, here are some sports and physical activities that disabled women can enjoy:

  • Cycling

The visually impaired were the first athletes who participated in the cycling match in the Paralympics. Today, sportsmen with cerebral palsy and physically disabled can compete in the game.

Those with visual disabilities take part in the game with a sighted partner. They are in tandem bicycles and can play in track and road rounds of the competition. This Rio Paralympics, seven women will represent the country. All but Jessica Gallagher have physical impairments.

  • Equestrian

Beijing Paralympian Sharon Jarvis will lead the country’s all-female equestrian team for the Rio Paralympics. For many years, the sport was used for rehabilitation and recreation of the disabled and wealthy, sick people. In 1996, equestrian became a Paralympic sport.

Competitors will have to battle it out for Dressage events, Championship Test, Freestyle Test, and Team Test. During the tournament, riders can opt for assistive devices and aids.

  • Goalball

Goalball is an active sport that is intended only for sportsmen with visual impairments. In 1946, the game was invented as a support to blind veterans of the World War II. Goalball is akin to football. The goal of the game is to roll the ball until it reaches the other team’s end.

Both men and women can compete in the sport. An all-female goalball team composed of six athletes will represent the country for this year’s Paralympics.

  • Wheelchair Tennis

Wheelchair tennis is also an active sport. It became a Paralympic sport during the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics. The game is similar to tennis. The only difference is that the players are on wheelchairs and the ball is allowed to bounce twice.

 

07Sep/16

Betting on Women’s Sport: Is it Prevalent in Australia?

Gambling is inevitably an important part of Australian entertainment. In fact, Australian bookmakers betting on sporting events, online casinos and lotteries, among other things, are fairly common. According to Problem Gambling, at least 70 percent of the country’s population engaged in any of the aforementioned forms of gambling.

One of the most popular varieties of online gambling in Australia is sports betting. In actuality, this industry is raking millions of dollars in annual revenues. Traditionally, Aussie gamblers bet on male sporting events. They say that the results of men’s sports can easily be anticipated. This being said, trying one’s luck in women’s sporting events is also getting quite popular recently.

Betting on Women’s Sports

Among the cited reasons why there is a sudden popularity in this form of gamble are the female athletes. Men can’t resist looking at athletic and outdoorsy women. In addition, they have a proclivity for sports that highlight beautiful women.

Like the men’s sports, some believe that the outcome of women’s sports is predictable. For instance, the German and American teams are most likely to have the upper hand in the World Cup. Another example is women’s tennis. If Serena Williams is playing in the competition, it is distinctly possible that she will dominate the event.

The recently concluded Australian Open showed the interest of punters on women’s sports. The early favorites were Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. However, the game wrapped up with Angelique Kerber defeating the front runner Serena Williams.

Australia’s Women’s Sports Betting Culture

Despite the increasing interest of punters on women’s sports, there is a poor turnout of companies offering this type of gambling. As a matter of fact, the Australian Open is probably the only women’s sporting event in the country that cashed in handsome revenues this year.

Last year’s women’s FIFA World Cup had also the same punters’ turnout. According to Sports International Magazine, the biggest women’s tournament in the world only attracted a little less than 14 percent of online gambling companies.

ABC reported that businessmen see the women’s sports betting industry as an untapped market. Even if there’s a high engagement rate and good media coverage, women’s sports betting in the country must be re-positioned in a more interesting manner. This way, stakeholders, punters and the general public will be more drawn into it.

07Sep/16

Running Up Debt in Pursuit of Gold

It is not news anymore when a famed athlete goes bankrupt. Common reasons would be bad credit personal loan, overspending or poor investment choices. As a matter of fact, 60 percent of professional basketball players went bankrupt five years after they retire from the league. While some athletes are spending their way towards indebtedness, aspiring sportsmen are living on credit to pursue their dreams.

The recent 2016 Rio Olympics ended with spectacles and controversies. But underneath all these drama and media attention, there are Olympic athletes who lived in poverty in the pursuit of gold. Reports show that a lot of sportsmen who competed in Rio are living in or below the poverty line. Their only sources of income are prizes from competitions, sponsor contracts and part-time jobs. Some athletes are lucky enough to land big product endorsements. But for the rest, they have to manage living with their scarce income.

In order for an athlete to qualify for the Olympics, he/she has to train intensely. There are costs associated with this, of course. There is equipment to be purchased, fees for coaching and transportation outlays. If an athlete has no other means of income, there’s nothing much to do but live in debt.

According to The Guardian, at least 100 athletes created GoFundMe pages so that they can compete in the Rio Olympics. The gathered money was used for new equipment and basic living expenses while training.

Poor, World-Class Sportsmen

Vice Sports reported that Ivanie Blondin, one of the best long-track speed skaters in Canada, only makes a living out of her stipend. Athletes in the United States also experience the same penury. Based on the U.S. Athletic Trust, the U.S. Olympic Committee only spent $70 million for athlete support from 2009-2012. With lack of financial support from the government, no wonder that good athletes are washed out or are forced to give up their dreams.

Student-athletes are being faced with the same problems. Even if colleges offer free education, room and board to its student athletes, they still eked out from their daily lives. These aspiring sportsmen will have to manage their time from training, schooling and working on shifts just to make ends meet.

07Sep/16

Image and Profile in Athletic Sport Recognition

The recently concluded 2016 Rio Olympics was, indeed, full of spectacle and controversies. There are issues regarding the Olympic village and with the athletes as well. Probably one of the most talked athletes was American swimmer Ryan Lochte. His image was marred because of the hullabaloo he created.

Australian athletes also made headlines during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Nine sportsmen were inculpated for falsification of documents. Although not clearly at fault, the athletes apologized for their deportment.

Because of the stated points at issue, one could not think whether the athletes still deem their image and profile as important or not. The things that happened are not the kind of things that photographers can Photoshop, just like in escort photography.

 Athletes as Role Models

Today’s women can now appreciate their body image and play to their strengths, thanks to the Olympics.

It is pretty common for women to lie about their weight when asked about it. But if you’ll look at the built of women athletes from the recent Rio Olympics, you’ll feel buoyed up to appreciate your own body; that you have to look for ways on how you can harness your body’s potential rather than how slim you can be.

The image of an athlete is important for them. For instance, most, if not all, male athletes are lean and muscular. It is because of the way how the society paints the perfect image of a man. No wonder that sportsmen use steroids, just so they can polish up their appearance. In effect, men bulk up to achieve an athlete’s look.

Reputation and Brand of Athletes

Athletes are using social media in building their brand and also in improving their image and profile. However, social media is a double-edged sword. It can either make or break one’s career.

There are only a few athletes who are using social media right. Those who are fully aware that they are a brand do a great job in controlling their image. This being said, embracing social media has its pitfalls. Therefore, one should embrace it with proper mentality. Once you put something out there, even if you managed to take it back, it will always be there. Sooner or later, it will haunt you and most likely hurt your image.

05Sep/16
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Silver medalist Derek Derenalagi (C) of Great Britain competes with gold medalist Philippe Robert (L) of France and bronze medalist William Reynolds of the United States in the 100m Men Ambulant IT2 final during day 1 of the Invictus Games, presented by Jaguar Land Rover at Lee Valley Athletics Centre on September 11, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)

Bodies Malfunctioning: When Physical Impairments Strike Athletes

Athletes strive to keep their bodies in tip top shape. These individuals take the necessary measures in order to make sure that they are performing in peak condition. This involves a lot of conditioning, warm up exercises and main workouts to help them prepare for their big debut or perhaps the start of a new season. With that being said, even when all the conditioning is done by athletes they are not immune in suffering injuries that can lead to their terrible fates. Let us consider what happens when physical impairments strike athletes on their journey to the top.

You will not be finding any shortage of athletes who have their careers ended prematurely due to physical impairments. Let us take for example, the A three-time All-Star Brandon Roy who has made quite a name for himself in the NBA as being one of the promising top guards. Misfortune stuck when he suffered a degenerative knee condition which resulted to a season-ending surgery on his right knee. Daunte Culpepper was also another professional athlete that looked like the next big thing at the quarterback position in the early 2000’s. In a worst case scenario, Culpepper shredded his right knee, tearing his ACL, MCL, and PCL which ended his career entirely.

Another case of athlete encountering an unfortunate fate was Penny Hardaway. The NBA play suffered a serious left knee injury early in the 1997-98 season and he’d have four more surgeries on that same knee before his career was over. Kirby Puckett was an American professional baseball player and is known as the Minnesota Twins’ all-time leader in career hits, runs, doubles, and total bases. At first glance it seemed that he was suffering from a typical injury resulting to a broken jaw.  What he did not expect was the aftermath of the situation. He woke up after the injury not able to see out of his right eye. Puckett’s life would change forever when he visited his doctor and was given the news he had developed glaucoma. This resulted to him being placed the disabled list for the first time in his professional career. Unfortunately, even after three surgeries over the next few months, doctors could not restore vision in the eye. This in turn made him announced his retirement on July 12, 1996, at the age of 36.

Many believe that the not so obvious injuries are considered to be the deadliest ones compared to the ones that can be seen right away. This is because, these signs of the problem only gradually show up later down their career. A good example of this was the famous American Olympic and professional boxer Muhammad Ali. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome, which his doctors attributed to boxing-related brain injuries. This happened after Ali retired years ago from boxing. The condition only seemed to get much worse until his untimely death at the age of 74.

Detecting the early signs of the problem prove to be very beneficial as many athletes were able to provide relief to their conditions in a timely and effective manner. Knowing what causes hearing loss can help athletes avoid suffering from the same fate while at the same time know that conditions they need to avoid. It is good to hear that you can find such information online.

03Sep/16

Get the Fans On-Board with Signature Gear

One of the most heartening sights that a player and coach can see, when they are doing battle against another team, is their fans decked out in promotional wear. The colours proudly displayed for all to see and the team’s logo emblazoned across caps and tops. It can lift the performance of the team on the field or track. Whether it be your local netball team, soccer, hockey, rugby, basketball or AFL, it pays to promote your club’s culture with some signature gear. Let the fans walk proudly to the game, through train and bus stations, with colours and team name on display.

Get the Fans On-Board with Signature Gear

Don’t be a quiet achiever, it is not the name of the game in the twenty first century, this is the era of conspicuous activity. Think of Facebook and Twitter, all that social media, it screams out, “look at me, look at me”. As a team Manager or President it is your duty to get the fans to rally around your team. Get the members dressed in the club colours and wearing promotional wear. Scarves and hats, T-shirts and wind cheaters, water bottles and mugs, bumper stickers on their cars, whatever you can think of get it printed with your message or team name.

Help with promoting your team is only a phone call or email away. It will be the most important contact you make all year, because merchandising your sporting team is a labour of love for all involved. The fans want to buy stuff and the support team want to sell them cool things with the club colours and logo on them. You can even make some money for the club from the sale of this merchandise and your fans become walking billboards promoting the team and organisation. How does it get any better than that?

Get the fans on-board with signature gear and you will never look back. You will wonder why you had not taken this step years ago. Marketing your sporting team is a major part of being a sporting organisation in this day and age. You need to grow the base and you can only do this by employing all your resources, which includes your existing fan base to spread the word. Visible messages on clothing and accessories can fly your banner for all to see. Your supporters will proudly wear their club colours.