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Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine – June 2016 Chasing the Sporting Lifestyle – Luke Spencer

What is your background?
My grandmother was born in Tarnagulla, in central Victoria, and my grandfather near Horsham. My other grandmother went to Clarendon College here in Ballarat. I grew up in Melbourne with frequent visits throughout the Western / Central Victorian districts. I studied Medicine through the University of Melbourne, I undertook an internship in Geelong and then further training years in Ballarat. My wife comes from Ballarat and it was a natural place to settle with our family once all my training in Melbourne and Canada was complete.I undertook a Sport Medicine Orthopaedic Fellowship in Canada. I was based at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Centre – treating Olympians and national sports people. We worked extensively with local, regional and national sports people. It was an excellent opportunity covering the orthopaedic treatment of the Canadian ski team, regional NHL ice hockey tournaments amongst other sports ranging from rugby and basketball to wrestling. I worked closely with advanced trained sport medicine physicians. In my current practice I have a strong focus on knee ligament and cartilage injuries, along with shoulder dislocations, knee dislocations, and rotator cuff injuries. I also provide hip arthroscopy along with ankle arthroscopy and stabilization.What can Ballarat do better in the area of sports injury management?
The Ballarat lifestyle lends itself to the development of a sports injury treatment centre. This is one of my dreams and aims, to assist with the development of such a centre in Ballarat. I believe a large number of sports people travel unnecessarily to other areas in search of such treatments that we can provide in Ballarat.

There are many sporting healthcare professionals in Ballarat. We already have outstanding physiotherapists and exercise physiologists in the area. Tied in with the Federation University providing sport and exercise related courses, including an exceptionally strong research focus through Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP). Ballarat has the potential to be a hub for sport injury treatment.

What are your favourite Ballarat lifestyle secrets?
Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail, Yarrowee Creek, Goldfields Track.
The Ballarat-Skipton rail trail is an amazing resource for runners, riders, walkers and families. You can pick and choose the section you would like to explore, or even challenge yourself to the entire trail. The kids enjoy the section from Nimons Bridge to Happy Valley.

The Yarrowee Creek is a bit closer to town, yet offers a beautiful environment for exercise all the way out to Gong Gong and Kirks Reservoir Park. Passing by Black Hill for those who enjoy the challenges of downhill mountain biking.

The Goldfields track can take you from Buninyong through to Daylesford (even onto Castlemaine and Bendigo) via Ballarat and Creswick. Walking or riding, early in the mornings you can catch a group of Wallabies, frequent Rosellas, Kookaburras and the rare Koala along the rough but well signed track.

The Ballarat Royal (Real) Tennis Club is a hidden gem for racquet ball players. Most players come from a background of tennis, or squash, but the weight of the ball is more reminiscent of cricket. A historical game from which the game of modern tennis arose. Along the Canadian Creek Trail in the Mercure complex, it is a lot of fun to play, with a handicap system opening the game up to all levels of skill and experience. Well worth a call to the professional to tee up some introductory lessons.

What sports are you and your family involved in?
I have an active family, we love Netball, Football, Basketball, Soccer, Running, Cycling, Golf and Mountain Biking on Black Hill.

My boys play in the Ballarat Football League, which incorporates fantastic family friendly clubs. Good values and determination to have fun, enjoy the game, play fairly and give it your best. My daughter will also have the opportunity to play in the female teams which is one of the most rapidly growing sports.

Lake Wendouree is a great resource for yachting, boating, rowing, fishing, triathlons, walking, running and cycling. Alongside Victoria Park, this is an excellent area for sporting pursuits.