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2023 Australian National Basketball Championships

‘Motivating and preparing players in difficult climatic conditions with high levels of fatigue in a high pressure elite competition environment is the role of a Sports Physiotherapist’  

Ballarat Sports Medicine’s experienced APA Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist Luke Blunden recently returned to the National under 18 basketball tournament to support the Victorian Metropolitan Women’s basketball team as their team Physiotherapist.

The Foot Locker national under 18 basketball tournament was held in Brendale Queensland from the 9th to 16th of April this year with elite state teams from over the country competing.  The Victorian Women’s team had won the gold medal in 2022 and were looking to defend the championship with a new young team.

Michael Brookens led the team with his excellent coaching strategy to be undefeated in the regular pool games.  Vic Metro then played in a pool-final against Vic country and pushed on with a win to advance to the semi-final against a strong NSW Metro.  Vic Metro had an ideal start leading 12 to 0, however in a tough seesawing game NSW got back into the game, got the better and progressed to the gold medal game.  This meant the Vic team would play QLD south in the bronze medal contest.  In a tough physical encounter with stadium conditions sweltering in the Brisbane heat the QLD side narrowly won the contest and the bronze medal leaving Vic Metro in fourth.  South Australia Metro went on to win the gold medal.

The basketball tournament environment is an involved process as team Physiotherapist, which for Luke involved monitoring player sleep, wellness, soreness, fluid balance, weight and exercise load levels.  Luke’s Sports Physiotherapy service would provide pre game taping, warm up of players, game monitoring, cool down, recovery, treatment for injury and performance management.

This year there were many learning experiences with challenges motivating and preparing players in difficult climate conditions with high fatigue in a high pressure elite competition environment.

Games can be viewed on Kommunity TV.

Luke looks forward to his next elite Basketball Physiotherapy challenge.