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Reflections on the past: seeking gold standards for the future – 50 years of Physios in Sport
  1. Philip Glasgow1,2,
  2. Charlotte Robertson3,4,
  3. Laura Chimimba5,
  4. Stephen Mutch2,6
  1. 1 School of Sport, Ulster University, Newtownabbey, UK
  2. 2 Sports Medicine, Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  4. 4 Sports Medicine Department, Great Britain Hockey, Bisham, UK
  5. 5 Physio, Remedy - Health & Performance, London, UK
  6. 6 Physiotherapy Performance Department, Project Physio, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Stephen Mutch, Sports Medicine, Irish Rugby Football Union, Dublin, Ireland; stephen.mutch{at}

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‘Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success’. These words could have been written a half century ago at the origin meetings of the Association of Chartered Physios in Sport & Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM) rather than prefacing the programme to mark 2023 as a unique year for ACPSEM. This year we celebrate our golden jubilee and are marking this with a celebratory social evening on 30th June in advance of a conference on 1 July entitled ‘Seeking Gold Standards’. Our stated aim now—just as it was back in 1973—is to provide education and networking opportunities for chartered physiotherapists with an interest in Sport & Exercise Medicine. ACPSEM is delighted to introduce this issue of BJSM.

Contemplating the development of sports physiotherapy as a profession over 50 years reminds us of the value of reflecting on what has gone before. In their aptly titled editorial ‘Reflecting on the past to improve the future: introducing after action reviews in sport’, Stephen Mutch and colleagues share a review framework for evaluating how different factors influence thinking and behaviours, and how the insights gained can be used to bring about meaningful changes in practice.

One area which has seen considerable change in recent years is the understanding of concussion and its consequences. In a male rugby union cohort, Dr Isabel Moore and the group from Cardiff ( see page 395 )highlight an increase in within-player overall injury risk following a concussion, reminding us on the multifactorial nature of injury incidence.

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In an extensive review, our Danish Sports Physical Therapy colleagues provide a very helpful guide to the evidence related to diagnosis, prevention and treatment of common shoulder injuries ( see page 408 ). As with so much of sports physiotherapy practice, the paper also highlights the need for further high-quality work evaluating specific exercise interventions for shoulder pain. Shoulder pain in swimmers features in the PhD Academy Award ( see page 436 ); and the research team from Manchester describe the relationship between training loads and shoulder musculoskeletal qualities providing guidance for clinicians working in this sport.

While much change has occurred in sport physiotherapy across five decades, equality, diversity and belonging still need urgent focus. Gender inequity is addressed both in this BJSM issue by Dr Sallie Cowan ( see page 401 ), and also at our Jubilee Conference where we have a much-anticipated presentation on gender inclusive sport.

Throughout this issue of BJSM, there is a golden thread of practical, clinically relevant research relating to injury management, health and the discipline of sport and exercise medicine. Similar themes will be explored at our conference on 1 July at Bath University. Our line-up of speakers will tackle topics exploring gold standards of assessment, management and rehabilitation of injury. These include minimising injury risk to the shoulder while maximising athletic potential, playing surfaces and the risk of injury, conceptualising gender inclusive sport, promoting shoulder training through callisthenics, and a practical session highlighting speed and movement in end stage rehab. A mixture of lectures and practical workshops should facilitate immediate implementation into clinical practice.

This commemorative event will also be an opportunity to celebrate our Life and Gold members, and we will award an inaugural ‘Mentor of the Year’ award in memory of Raph Rinaldi, one of our enthusiastic members who is sadly no longer with us.

It will be a celebration for reflection, but with an eye to the future. There will be something for everyone: an opportunity to renew friendships, network to make new contacts and friends, ultimately celebrating Physios in Sport: it could be said that this is one of those ‘golden’ opportunities that sport affords us! Enjoy this edition!

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  • Twitter @philglasgow, @CharliRobertson, @LauraC_Physio

  • Contributors PG and SM considered themes of the Warm Up, PG prepared initial draft. CR, LC and SM worked on various versions after review first draft, PG providing feedback for the final version submitted by SM.

  • 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.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.