La Trobe physiotherapists support Australia's Olympic challenge in Beijing

La Trobe physiotherapists support Australia's Olympic challenge in Beijing

04 Aug 2008

The Beijing Olympics will lead to an informal reunion for 10 La Trobe University alumni selected as physiotherapists for the Australian Olympic team. The physiotherapists will be the first point of contact for many Olympians who will look to them to assist their fast recovery after competitions.

This elite delegation of physiotherapists will include Mark Alexander, a lecturer in the University's School of Physiotherapy, who is now participating in his third Olympics as the physiotherapist for the Australian Triathlon team. Mr Alexander says the large contingent of La Trobe - educated physiotherapists reflects the University's expertise in tailoring a course that is realistic about the demands on its Masters students, who are often working in the field as well as studying.

"The strength of this course is that it is extremely well taught, and can be studied remotely. This suits the nature of a sports physiotherapist's job, because it includes a lot of travelling and irregular work hours," Mr Alexander says.

Mr Alexander chose to do his Masters in Physiotherapy at La Trobe, because of the reputation of the course and its flexibility.

"The course is really accessible. Even clinical placements can be completed in your own State, because much of the course is taught online," he says.

"And students are exposed to some of the best physiotherapists around, including many ex and current Olympic and AFL physiotherapists."

Other physiotherapists from La Trobe en route to Beijing to work with the Australian Olympic team include Eric Clarke, Cameron Dunkerley (football), Stephen Evans (basketball), Susan Everett (rowing), Danealle Lilley (waterpolo), Katrina MacDonald (softball), David Morarty (swimming), Andrew Stanford (waterpolo) and Mark Stokes (hockey).

La Trobe University's Associate Dean of Allied Health, Professor Karen Dodd, said the Masters Degree in Sports Physiotherapy had been very popular for the last seven years.

"It is a is a unique and well developed course that is highly regarded in the sports physiotherapy and musculoskeletal physiotherapy industries. Obviously we are very proud of our former students and current staff going to Beijing, as it shows the high quality of our graduates and teachers," Professor Dodd says.

She says many undergraduates come to La Trobe with the intention of ultimately specialising in sports physiotherapy by going onto the post-graduate Masters course'.

"This course which has been developed in alliance with the Australian Physiotherapy Association and other major agencies provides a real pathway for elite sports physiotherapists."

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