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‘Are women grateful to be here or do women kick ass?’ #Sportskongres2020
  1. Karen Kotila1,
  2. Kristian Thorborg2,
  3. Thomas Bandholm3,
  4. Michael Skovdal Rathleff4,
  5. Heidi Klakk5,
  6. Carsten B Juhl6
  1. 1 Danish Society of Sports Physical Therapy, Odense, Denmark
  2. 2 Sports Orthopaedic Research Center–Copenhagen (SORC-C), Arthroscopic Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager-Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  3. 3 Clinical Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4 Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Research Unit for General Practice in Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark
  5. 5 Centre for Research in Childhood Health, Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  6. 6 Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Karen Kotila, Danish Society of Sports Physical Therapy, Odense 2300, Denmark; kkotila{at}

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#sportskongres2020 is a congress that is rated among the best sports medicine congresses in the world. A congress that in the past has failed to live up to Danish gender equality goals, but now recognises the value of gender equality and strives to take it one step further—pay attention to women and let them kick ass.

‘Are women grateful to be here or do women kick ass’ was the question Abby Wambach, former US soccer national team captain, posed in her graduation speech at the Barnard College in 2018. Wambach made the important point that women, herself included, are often brought up to be grateful, nice girls, staying on the career path and not mouthing off. Abby nails it; gender equality is a complex matter that draws attention to children’s upbringing and the perception of how women ought to behave. The quest for gender equality does not start nor end with equal opportunity. As pointed out by Bekker et al 1 in a recent editorial. ‘The question, then, is far from how we can merely get more women to participate, but rather ‘how can we make ourselves more aware about the processes and prejudices that make us not listen to her’. Women like Abby Wambach serve as role models who teach us that women can be grateful for what women have achieved and should demand the attention they deserve. In this Danish issue of BJSM, we present articles, authored by top-level researchers, led by the female first authors. Through their excellent work in the field of sports medicine, these women act as role models, demand our attention and truly ‘kick ass’.

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Learn from your failures

At #sportskongres 2019, we introduced a new symposium format. Usually symposiums present the research from successful endeavours, but the focus on this symposium was on failure! Assistant Professor Merete Møller, led the symposium called ‘celebrating failures’, where three highly accomplished professors presented their honest reflections on how past failure fuelled future success. We feature a rare personal interview with Merete Møller a former handball World Champion and the copresident of the scientific committee of Sportskongres 2019 (see page 1503).

Using Bandholm et al’s REAL framework,2 Sallie Pearson et al 3 (see page 1443) critically dig into the practical implications of a meta-analysis of 391 randomised controlled trials (RCT) assessing the effect of exercise and medication on systolic blood pressure in adults. Pearson turns ‘failure’ into recommendation and reflects on the need for researchers to improve their research design and move beyond the scope of narrow outcomes to global, but pragmatic settings. She also calls for them to compare types and volumes of exercise regimes as well as consider the potential multisystem benefits of exercise.

Along the same line of improving designs and highlighting failures—in this case whether a patient deems the treatment a success or a failure—Ewa Roos et al revisit data from the landmark KANON trial (ISRCTN84752559) on acute anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. In their article, ‘It is good to feel better but better to feel good….’ (see page 1474) the authors highlight that clinical trials will be more helpful if they report meaningful patient change score and postintervention responder criteria.

A failure difficult to celebrate

‘What can I expect after my injury?’ is a common question from our patients. Poulsen et al systematically assess the literature to report the likelihood of knee osteoarthritis about 10 years after sustaining a knee injury (see page 1454). With ACL injuries mainly occurring in a younger population active in sports with a lot of planting and cutting and change of speed, this injury is most likely to have a major implication on this population’s future state of physical activity. About one in four Danish female soccer national team players, playing in foreign clubs, have suffered an ACL injury, and two players have experienced the same injury twice. Same scenario is present in the second-best league in Denmark where 41 out of 289 (14.2%) players sustained an ACL injury (Fysioterapeuten no. 4, 2019). We have the knowledge of injury mechanisms, we have the prevention programme that WORK, but we obviously do not have the attention of the soccer community. We owe it to these kick-ass female soccer players to implement injury prevention that works. Looking for good news, we can report that this topic—implementing effective sports injury prevention is slap bang square on the menu at #sportskongres2020.


Each year, the Danish Society of Sports Physical Therapy (DSSF) commissions a catalogue ‘Clinical Evidence and Guidance’ on a chosen subject. The catalogue is incorporated into the curriculum of the sports physiotherapists courses as well as presented to physiotherapists nationwide at ‘after-work meetings’. These meetings present physiotherapists the opportunity, in a small forum, to discuss the newest evidence and how it applies in to a clinical setting. Soon in BJSM you will find Lasse Ishøi et al’s excellent ‘Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common muscle injuries, a statement paper commissioned by the DSSF’. The catalogue will also be presented at #sportskongres2020 in an interactive session, perfect for a lively debate.

The Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress takes place in Copenhagen 30 January to 1 February 2020. You can be part of this festive, internationally celebrated congress by following the link: We encourage you to visit our Youtube channel for inspiration ( and also follow our twitter handle @sportskongres for congress warm up information.



  • Twitter @karenkotila, @KThorborg, @TBandholm

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.