Birmingham-bound athletes turn to ACU for hope

ACU’s Allied Health Clinic has delivered hope, and a launchpad towards Commonwealth Games success, for Vanuatu’s women’s beach volleyball team.

Building on ACU’s ongoing commitment to supporting the people of Vanuatu, physiotherapy staff and students from the Brisbane campus provided assessment and treatment for the players who have been at the Gold Coast for a training camp as part of their preparation for the Birmingham 2022 Games.

The partnership enabled fourth-year Bachelor of Physiotherapy students to hone their skills on high performance athletes while supported by fully qualified physiotherapists.

It was also empowering for the athletes, some of whom are managing minor injuries in the lead-up to one of this year’s biggest sporting events.

“I believe in the sense of certainty that comes with expert knowledge also relieves worry and stress for the players,” said coach Steve Anderson who previously was a mentor for gold medallist and five-time Olympian Natalie Cook.

“The injury prevention and planning installs hope for a healthier future. Treatment delivers on all of that and creates actual results towards health and high performance.”

“From a coaching perspective, I learned more specific details on what is going on with each athlete. This gave me additional insights and a sense of certainty that we are addressing and resolving the specific issue that need to be addressed for optimum performance.

More than just athletes, the beach volleyballers are leaders of cultural change in Vanuatu, where perceptions of women's roles are evolving.

As role models, they are blazing a trail for girls and young women in their communities to step out of traditional roles and pursue never before imagined career paths.

Musculoskeletal screening is among the many health services available at ACU Allied Health Clinics.

Brisbane's Allied Health Clinic has facilitated more than 10,000 patient treatments over eight years across its physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, speech pathology and social work programs.

Trainees, supported by fully qualified practitioners, are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to treat students, staff and the public.

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