26 September 2023

Sports off and running to Commonwealth Games

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The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has started preparing to support the nation’s Commonwealth Games team by delivering more than 350kgs of recovery equipment to the host city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The equipment includes ice baths and specialised compression devices to be delivered to the AIS Games headquarters at Birmingham University.

Rest Hub Senior Advisor, Steph Shell is one of three AIS recovery specialists working with sports in the build-up to July’s Games.

“We need to pack for all the possible contingencies,” Ms Shell ( pictured) said.

“For some sports we might be able to have a one-stop shop with ice baths, compression and nutrition in the one location, but for others they may need to be spread out over five or six possible sites at the competition or accommodation settings.”

She said that when athletes needed to back-up performances in a short time-frame, the recovery process was an essential element of planning and preparation.

“Our recovery efforts help reduce soreness, enhance physical and psychological recovery, reduce thermal strain by decreasing core body temperature, which can be particularly important for some of our para-athletes, and enhance readiness to perform,” Ms Shell said.

She has recently been in Queensland working with Volleyball Australia and Diving Australia. The AIS is also working with lawn bowls, wheelchair basketball, and para powerlifting and will assist sports in developing their own bespoke recovery plans as needed.

“Part of the role involves educating and up-skilling sports in preparing their recovery set-ups, equipment, procedures and best practice guidelines on how to ensure peak athlete performance,” Ms Shell said.

“There’s considerable work to be done in the lead-up to the Games, and then again when we are on the ground, so we can best support our athletes through the recovery process.”

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