The opening day of the inaugural #BetwayCares Skills Hub Sport Medicine workshop got off to a thrilling start, as coaches from the various football leagues under the SAFA Soweto Local Football Association kicked off the three-day workshop, specifically tailored at upskilling coaches with the basic foundations of sports medicine.
Taking place at the Zodwa Khoza Foundation Centre in Soweto, the first of its kind workshop was officially opened by SAFA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya with a fundamental topic of recognising and responding to medical emergencies in Football, encompassing various sub-topics such as Cardiac Arrest, Concussions and Head Injuries.
The introduction of sports medicine into community sport forms part of Betway’s concerted efforts of upskilling and imparting valuable knowledge to sports practitioners at community level, with the aim of fast tracking the growth of sport across all South African communities through the #BetwayCares Skills Hubs.
Addressing some of the challenges raised by the coaches, in addition to the lack of qualified doctors at that level, Dr Ngwenya stressed the importance of the timely recognition and responses to medical emergencies, emphasising how crucial this was in saving the life of an athlete.
“We can never over emphasise the importance of such topics in football, more especially at this level where clubs do not have the luxury of qualified doctors. Be it at amateur or professional level, we have seen a number of incidents of sudden cardiac arrest, some of which have unfortunately been fatal,” said Ngwenya.
“While this workshop does not qualify them as medical doctors, we take comfort in the fact that Betway is providing a learning environment for coaches to at least learn how to recognise and respond to critical emergencies in football, which in many instances is indeed a matter of life and death,” he concluded.
The session was then followed by coaches conducting practical demonstrations of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), which was also highlighted as a skill that is critical to know both on and off the field.
In addition medical emergencies in football, Dr Ngwenya also gave an overview discussion on the topic of anti-doping, highlighting common mistakes made both at amateur and elite level due to a lack of knowledge of banned substances in sport.
The #BetwayCares Skills Hub sports medicine workshop continues until Thursday with Dr Phathokuhle Zondi, Simone Conley as well as Bafana Sihlali.