From the 26th of June to the 18th July I spent 3 fortunate weeks at the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre, Gavirate Italy. My role was to tend to the health needs of all Australian athletes currently training and competing in Europe.
These athletes included the Australian Rowing team , assisting their team doctor Dr Larissa Trease, and taking over when she left for competition in Switzerland and ongoing locales. The Australian Men’s 23 cycling team are resident in the Area and use the centre for their medical needs. The Women’s national team also staged there before their Giro D’Italia and Tour de France.
We had pole vaulters, sailers and a race walker come through. The centre is staffed by Australians who work for the AIS who all speak fluent Italian. There is also an Italian gentleman Luca Broggini, who deals with the local governent agencies. I took trips to Milan with athletes to meet local specialists and arrange tests and X-rays. This was a positive experience being able to interact with excellent local medical specialists, and a chance to improve my conversational and medical Italian.
The chance to meet and treat Olympic athletes on their journey to Rio next year was a privilege and a great learning experience. While I love the local AFL scene, the knowledge I gained in Italy will help my work with local athletes.
This was my second tour to Italy, and I hope to get asked back next year.
- Dr David Bolzonello, Sports Physician