The growing number of women playing Australian rules football has prompted researchers from Deakin University to begin a female focussed sports injury study in the hope of minimising risks out on the field.
Dubbed the Aussie Rules Football Injury Study, the research is supported by the Australian Football League research board.
Professor Richard Page, a researcher in the Deakin School of Medicine and chair of orthopaedic surgery at Barwon Health and St John of God Geelong Hospital, said the study would investigate the types of injuries females were sustaining while having a kick.
“Female participation in Aussie rule is increasing and we need to know if there are different injuries sustained by girls compared to boys, and by women compared to men,” Professor Page said.
He also said that as part of the study, researchers will work towards understanding the frequency and type of injuries sustained by women to effectively implement injury reduction strategies.
“We need to really understand, not just guess, if there are different physiological factors leading to injury based on gender,” he said.
“There may be different and more effective paths for injury prevention and treatment between the genders, leading to better management, treatment and care.
“The study will also help us to understand the impact of the injury on the person’s work or school life and return to sport.”
According to Deakin University, recently released AFL figures show that 530,166 females played AFL last year, accounting for a third of overall participants.
The study is inviting women and girls who were injured playing footy and presented to emergency departments in Geelong and south-western Victoria to participate.
Players interested can contact Dr Stephen Gill on 03 5215 0902.