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Back to basics with some new tools: first ensure the safety of sporting environments
  1. Caroline F Finch1,
  2. James C Brown2,3,
  3. Clint Readhead2,4,
  4. Mike Lambert2,3,
  5. Wayne Viljoen2,4
  1. 1Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  3. 3Department of Public & Occupational Health and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4South African Rugby Union, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Caroline F Finch, Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia, P.O. Box 663, Ballarat, VIC 3353, Australia; c.finch{at}federation.edu.au

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Recently, effort has been put into the development of sports injury prevention programmes and accompanying education training for specific sports, such as BokSmart (Rugby Union, http://boksmart.co.za/content/what-is-boksmart), FootyFirst (Australian football, http://www.aflcommunityclub.com.au/index.php?id=906) and FIFA 11+ (Soccer, http://f-marc.com/11plus/11plus/). Many involve targeted exercise interventions for players to undertake via coach instructions. It is assumed that the physical environments for this are safe, but this aspect is rarely discussed in the literature.

Training for injury prevention requires safe physical environments

Before any form of sporting activity, the playing environment needs to be hazard-free and suitable for the intended activity. This applies to both fitness facilities1 and outdoor sporting fields.2 The standard and condition of the playing surfaces themselves are critical for sports safety, and this requires maintaining turf surfaces and checking the safety of sports environments before play. Identifying, removing and controlling hazards are crucial for reducing sports-injury risk.1 ,2 In professional and high-level sport, this process is routinely undertaken by the officials and sport management staff, especially those linked with specific sports facilities who are present on the days of activity.3 In community club sport, this …

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