The National Youth Championships for girls are held each year in Coffs Harbour, where the best young soccer players from across the country have a chance to represent their state and showcase their skills in front of national team coaches.
Victoria was represented by a talented group of U14 and U15 girls, accompanied by Physiohealth physios Ebru and Elise as their physiotherapists for the week. This involved managing new and current injuries, and ensuring everyone was fit and prepared to play at their best each day. The girls completed daily foam rolling & mobility sessions, pre-activation exercises, injury prevention warm ups, and pool recovery sessions (with dreaded ice baths) after matches. They were also assisted with refuelling, hydration and establishing good recovery strategies. These practices exposed the groups to the discipline and routines expected of an elite athlete in a tournament environment.
Both teams were fortunate not to suffer any injuries that would rule them out from the remainder of the tournament. Athlete soreness, fatigue and hydration levels were monitored by physios, allowing early identification of potential issues. Knocks, muscle pain and tightness were managed with daily check-ins and treatment. Issues were communicated with coaching staff, allowing appropriate management of match time and loads to keep players fit throughout the week.
It was an exciting week for the U14 squad, with 15 of the 16 girls experiencing their first Nationals. The U15 squad included a number of veterans from the 2018 Championships, who demonstrated their experience and ability throughout the week. The week ended on a high note, with U15 squad member and Physiohealth athlete Alana Murphy being awarded the U15 Player of the Tournament. It was an exciting and rewarding experience to work at the Championships and support these young athletes through a successful week.