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.