Gaylene McKay - Physiotherapist with the Melbourne Boomers WNBL team


Now that the 2018/19 WNBL season is over, we chatted with Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic Physiotherapist Dr Gaylene McKay about her involvement.


When and how did you begin working as a Physio in the WNBL / for the Melbourne Boomers?

I commenced working as a Physiotherapist in the WNBL in 1991 whilst I was still playing in the Bulleen Boomers WNBL team. Once I retired as a player I have continued on as the team Physiotherapist. I have seen Bulleen Boomers WNBL team become Melbourne Boomers in recent years and am proud to have been able to look after the team for every season over so many years.

You played in the WNBL yourself for many years - do you feel that on-court experience helps you understand the needs of the players more?

I played WNBL for 17 years both at Nunawading Spectres and Bulleen Boomers. Having been a player I do understand their drive to want to get out and play, but also understand the need to protect them when they need to rehabilitate and stay off the court. It's an important balance that I do my best to manage. I also have a very good understanding of the types of injuries that occur and a systematic approach into integrating them back to playing basketball following an injury.

I have also done a lot of coaching since retiring from playing WNBL so have a good understanding of the coaches' perspective - wanting to have players available as much as possible but doing the right thing by the players health and well-being. Another balancing act.

Overall, understanding it from the perspective of a player, a coach and a physiotherapist is advantageous for everyone involved.

What do you like most about the work?

There are many facets that I like about this work. I really value being part of a team and helping that team be the best they can be. I also enjoy the camaraderie of being part of this calibre team and watching the development of the game I love in Australia. From a physiotherapy perspective, the work continues to challenge my diagnostic, treatment and management skills and I find this a stimulating type of work that keeps me loving what I do. I really enjoy helping people and I am blessed to be able to help in this way.

As a basketballer yourself we're guessing it's hard being on the side-lines, but what else do you find the challenging about your off-court role?

The most difficult and challenging thing to do is to tell any player that they will miss a substantial amount of time away from the game due to a serious injury. My heart goes out to them when they are so passionate about playing and these days it is often their source of income / employment.

How does this differ from other sports you are involved in / athletes you have worked with?

Each sport will have its different injury profiles and therefore different injury management and ways of integrating injured players back to sport. I enjoy working across different sports to continue to stimulate my intellect and work skills. Each sport I have worked with brings different things to my world, both professionally and personally. At the moment I am mainly working in basketball and calisthenics and I enjoy the contrasts and different challenges both these sports provide.

You completed your PhD in a basketball related topic, can you tell us about it?

My PhD investigated the injury rates, patterns of injury and risk factors for injuries in elite and recreational basketball players. Chronic ankle injuries were identified as the most common injury causing time to be missed from play. I then went on to develop some clinical tests to assess function (such as strength and balance) for basketball players who had chronic ankle injuries. This remains a strong clinical interest for me and I have enjoyed lecturing about ankle injuries in sport for many years.

Gordon Pritchard - Melbourne Renegades WBBL Physio

Now that the Rebel Women's Big Bash League season has come to an end, we found time to sit down with Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic (ASMC) Physiotherapist Gordon Pritchard to chat about his involvement.

How did you become involved with the WBBL & Melbourne Renegades?

I had been working with Cricket Victoria's female pathway program which feeds the U18 state side. Then the WBBL was created and a number of our U18 girls were signed by the Renegades, so I was lucky enough to move over to the Renegades as well.

What do you find most enjoyable?

By far the banter amongst the girls and other staff. We have such a great group of people involved. I also love the challenge of ensuring there are 11 fit players for each game. We play a lot of games, often on back to back days, so it can be a big challenge ensuring the coach has the players available to be selected.

What did you find the most challenging?

Being able to manage the different competing interests that make up a squad. Some of our players play for Australia or other countries or other states, some play AFLW, and all of them play club cricket through the WBBL. So it is a challenge to ensure that we are managing our players in the best way to ensure they are fit for Renegades but also for national representation or AFLW that may be coming up.

How does this differ from other sports you are involved in / athletes you have worked with?

Cricket can be interesting as it has clear disciplines within the game. So an injury may affect an aspect of a player's game, but maybe not their main discipline (ie batting) for which they are being picked for. So you are often managing a number of injuries that may not necessarily stop a player from being picked, but can still have an impact on their overall comfort which can then potentially affect performance. So there is a fine balance between what is acceptable when managing a particular injury

How do you feel this experience helps you in treating your patients at ASMC?

Being involved in a sport that has many competing interests and having to problem solve around these very much fits in with what happens with patients at ASMC. It's rare that people live in a perfect world where the sole focus can be on improving their injury or pain. Our patients have many competing interests that take away from being more focussed on themselves (ie children, family, work, sport, fitness, holidays). So the experiences of working in a challenging environment like WBBL sets me up to help ASMC patients that also have very challenging circumstances and working with them to achieve the best outcome.


2019 Gym & Pilates Classes

We've updated our Clinical Pilates & Gym Class timetable for 2019 - see attachment below*.

All our classes are taught by qualified Physiotherapists with a maximum of only 4 attendees!

*Please note: Friday night and Sunday time-slots do not commence until February.

Complex Condition Consultancy

Specialist Sports & Exercise Physiotherapy service now available

Kay Copeland, one of our most experienced practitioners here at Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic, is now a Specialist Sports & Exercise Physiotherapist* (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2018).

In this role she will act as a consultant to current treating practitioners to progress complex conditions.

Complex conditions are those that:

  • could have multiple injuries or components, or
  • have an extended history that is not improving or resolving, or
  • have an unusual condition or presentation.

Kay will see the patient for 1-2 extended consults to develop a comprehensive management plan that includes ongoing objectives along with rehabilitation and strengthening exercises that are focused towards achieving the patient's goal.

She will work with the current treating practitioner(s) to implement the management plan and transition the patient back to the ongoing treating practitioner.

If you have any questions about this service or need to book a consult with Kay, please phone us on 9481 5744.

*To achieve this Specialist title Kay completed an extensive two-year training program along with clinical examinations. She is one of only 10 Physiotherapists in Victoria with this clinical speciality!  To learn more about Kay's varied and vast experience check out her full bio.


Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Closed

Please Note: Our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic has closed for 2018.

Call us 9481 5744 to make an appointment during our normal business hours:

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday

8.30am - 12pm Saturdays

9.30am - 1pm Sundays*

(*closed Sundays in December & January)


Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Update

Due to popular demand we're continuing our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic beyond the winter sports season - but only on Saturdays and at our Sports Medicine Clinic (not the Exercise + Rehab Centre).

If someone is injured on a weekend and requires injury assessment and management, but doesn't need to go to or want to wait in an emergency department, they can drop in to:

Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic
339 Heidelberg Road, Northcote
12.30 - 5pm Saturdays (until early November)

Injuries are assessed by a Physiotherapist.

No appointment is needed, but if possible please call ahead on 9481 5744.

Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Re-opening Saturday 7 April

The winter sporting season is upon us again and as such our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic is re-opening - with a few changes.

If someone is injured on a weekend, and requires injury assessment and management but doesn't need to go to or want to wait in an emergency department, they can drop in to:

Alphington Exercise + Rehabilitation Centre
376 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield
12.30 - 5pm Saturdays and Sundays
(from 7 April until September 2018)

Injuries are assessed by a Physiotherapist.

No appointment is needed, but please call ahead on 9482 5211 if possible.

There are no onsite X-Ray facilities available.

Remember, we can help with injury prevention as well as recovery and take care of both sporting and non-sporting medical and rehabilitation elements. And we are open for normal appointments on Saturday and Sunday mornings too - you can view the full list of our services here.

Phone us if you have any questions or would like to make a regular appointment.

Please note: as a private practice we do not bulk bill

Welcome Back Darren Austin

We've welcomed Physiotherapist Darren Austin back to the Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic team!

He's returned to us after being on tour with the Volleyball Team Australia Men Volleyroos as Head Physiotherapist and working in the U.K. as well as taking some time off to travel.

Check out his bio and availability at:

And call us on 03 9481 5744 to make an appointment.

VIC U-18 Basketball Success

Alphington Sports Medicine Physiotherapists Karina Chilman and Madeleine Ellis have just returned from Townsville where they got the sweet taste of success in the form of Australian U18 Basketball Championships gold with the Vic Metro Mens and Vic Country Womens teams.

For a full list of the results check out Basketball Australia's website:

Karina Chilman: 2nd from the right, back row with the mens team.

Madeleine Ellis: far left, back row with the ladies team.


Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic Re-opening: Saturday 25 March

The winter sporting season is upon us again and as such our Weekend Walk-In Injury Clinic at Warringal Private Hospital will be re-opening, with the addition of a plastering service too!

If someone is injured on a weekend, from Saturday 25 March onwards, and requires medical assistance but doesn't need to go to or want to wait in an emergency department they can drop in to:

Warringal Private Hospital Day Surgery

Suite 13 - Level 3, 216 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg.

12 - 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

Injuries are assessed by a Physiotherapist with plastering services and X-Ray facilities also available.

Remember, we can help with injury prevention as well as recovery and take care of both sporting and non-sporting medical and rehabilitation elements.

Phone us on 9481 5744 if you have any questions or would like to make a regular appointment.