New Zealand Football’s Injury Prevention team will be in action delivering the Fit4Football Programme at this week’s World Masters Games.
With more athletes than the Olympics, the World Masters Games is the single biggest multi-sport event on earth and is being held in Auckland over 10 action-packed days from 21 April.
Recognised by the International Olympic Committee, the event will bring over 25,000 athletes from 100 countries together with 28 sports and 45 disciplines on offer.
The football tournament of the World Masters Games will be contested at QBE Stadium and Westlake Boy’s and Girl’s High Schools from Saturday 22 April with most of the finals to be contested on Sunday 30 April. There are three finals on Saturday 29 April and the A 50+ Men’s Final is on Wednesday afternoon between the two Kiwi 50+ teams.
The Fit4Football programme, which was well received at the recent Auckland U-17 tournament, sees all of the athletes participating in the World Masters Games have free access to warm-up, recovery zones, enhancing performance and injury prevention support at Westlake Girls and QBE Stadium.
The Fit4Football initiative has been developed as a complete guide to match preparation, performance enhancement and injury prevention for players of all ages and level of competition.
“Our Fit4Football programme is a perfect fit for the World Masters Games,” said NZF National Injury Prevention Manager Megan Crockett.
“We know there are more than 2,200 footballers taking part in the World Masters Games this week in Auckland and we are excited to help these more mature athletes with their preparation for each day and also their performance.
“This age group is key to ensuring we have Kiwi athletes warming up properly and recovering properly so that we can reduce the number of football-related injuries. Hopefully they learn from this experience with us and take it back to their clubs.”
The Fit4Football programme runs on the 11+ model which was designed by a panel of international experts in conjunction with FIFA, specifically to reduce the risk of injury in football.
It has been developed to work as a warm-up and to be delivered by team coaches. It has been scientifically validated, and has been proven to reduce the risk of all injury by 30 per cent, and severe and debilitating injuries by 50 per cent.
There are 10 age categories in the World Masters Games across men and women teams (ranging from 30+ to 60+) and Crockett said the World Masters Games is known for being social but also highly competitive as players look to relive past glories.
In 2016, New Zealand Football created an Injury Prevention Specialists team who work on the guiding principle of enhancing performance through prevention.
Fit4Football is the overall enhancing performance and injury prevention programme of which the 11+ warm ups are one component of this programme.
“The number of injuries and the subsequent costs are increasing year-on-year,” said Crockett. “The latest ACC figures show there are now more than 48,000 football-related injuries each year, costing the country $36 million annually.”
For more information on the Fit4Football programme click here
World Masters Games 2017 – Football Fact Box
When: Saturday 22 April – Sunday 30 April
Where: QBE Stadium and Westlake Boy’s and Girl’s High Schools, Auckland
A Grade (Premier) – Men and Women: 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+
B Grade (Competitive) – Men and Women: 30+, 40+,50+
Open Grade – Men and Women: 55+, 60+