Injuries among school and collegiate GAA players are much more likely to occur at the start and end of the calendar year, a study has found.
The research which was part of an effort to establish the incidence of injury in adolescent and collegiate players also revealed that hip, groin and thigh injuries were the most common found, during a year-long study involving more than 600 participants.
The research showed that injuries occurred more frequently at the beginning of the calendar year, fell significantly over the summer, and rose again towards the end of the year.
Siobhan O’Connor, a lecturer in Sports Therapy with Rehabilitation at Athlone Institute of Technology, said the lack of a defined season is one contributory factor in the trend.
“A lot of that is due to pre-season,” said O’Connor, one of a number of experts at a sports injuries conference.
“What we found with our adolescent and collegiate players was that there are a lot of injuries at the start of the calendar year and at the end of the calendar year, particularly with collegiate players. They’re not the fittest they could be, and they’re getting mass high loading being placed on them quite suddenly. So they could be going from nothing to suddenly training three or four times a week.
“If you look at the more elite collegiate players it’s going to be at the end of the calendar year. That’s when the Fitzgibbon and Sigerson start picking up around October and November. They might be just finishing up with their counties and then all of a sudden they’re into the championship with their clubs. At the same time they’re starting pre-season training with their colleges.”
The study aims to pave the way for preventative strategies for injuries.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved