Every month, a member of the Oxford United in the Community team pens our monthly Community Matters column in the Oxford Mail!
This month, Lead Community Coach Rob Porter discusses our work with PowerUpToPlay to help reduce the risk of serious knee injuries in sport.
As a charity committed to inspiring happier, healthier and better-connected lives via football and its power to unlock people’s true potential, participant safety is our number one priority.
Not all our programmes and courses are exclusively delivered on the pitch. Since the turn of the pandemic especially, we’ve transformed our delivery to impact individuals of all backgrounds and ages, including refugees seeking asylum, those living with a disability and the football club’s older generation.
Underpinning our ‘off-field’ work are activities which happen on the pitch six days a week led by our team of coaches who engage with schools, grassroots clubs and community organisations across Oxfordshire.
The purpose of the above operation is to provide opportunities to individuals who otherwise may not have the chance to play football in an organised environment, make connections with likeminded people or have positive aspirations for their futures.
One element of sport which does not discriminate, though, is injury.
It shocked me to learn this month that knee injuries in young people which require surgery have increased 29-fold since the turn of the millennium, and that 50 per cent of these injuries could be prevented by the regular use of a simple warm-up programme.
For me, seeing any young person out through injury for a significant period of time does not only mean they miss training sessions and matches, but also lose out on their social life and further opportunities to develop.
You can read Rob’s column in full by clicking here.
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