30 April 2020Share
Bigger, better and stronger is the silver lining by-product of COVID-19 isolation for Sydney Roosters winger Brydie Parker.
The ACU Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science student was among scores of elite rugby league players stranded when the NRLW premiership was suspended to halt the insidious spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than wallow in disappointment, Brydie has embraced the competition pause to make improvements in strength and conditioning that would otherwise be overlooked during the quick turnaround between matches.
A collaboration between ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP) and the Exercise Lifestyle Clinic (ELC) at the university’s Brisbane campus connected the Roosters flyer with clinical exercise physiology support.
The telehealth appointments developed by students in the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology created a training program to suit the restrictions of social distancing and isolation that should weaponise Brydie when the competition resumes.
“I’ve got some goals to come out of this bigger, better and stronger,” she said. “I want to be a better athlete so, instead of sitting around worrying about what I can’t do, I’ll use this period to get on top of some niggles.”
As a student in the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences at ACU’s Strathfield campus in Sydney, the 20-year-old already has a grounding in what is required to train and play at and elite level.
A borrowed barbell and weights and a nearby grassy hill have provided her with the raw materials to apply her individualised training program.
“I’m fortunate I’ve got a good idea what I should be doing but it’s reinforcing to know I’m on the right track,” Brydie said.
Fast tracked into the sport, Brydie Parker made her debut in the inaugural 2018 women’s NRL at just 18 before taking the field in the grand final against the Broncos.
But last season the high-speed ride slowed as Parker was overlooked for game time by Sydney Roosters in the NRLW.
“Last year I was a part of the extended squad but I actually didn’t get to play unfortunately,” said Parker, who did, however, make the cut for the Roosters NRL nines team earlier this season.
“It was a bit disappointing but I was still in the environment where I was able to learn so much.
Returning in better condition is a reality for the EAPP students who have been offered free telehealth consultancy at the ELC where they can address injury rehabilitation and other conditioning goals with a team of accredited exercise physiologists and their student practitioners.
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