Basketball New Zealand partners with ACC Sportsmart

Basketball New Zealand partners with ACC Sportsmart
Basketball New Zealand has joined forces with ACC to bolster injury prevention within basketball.

This partnership is a result of Basketball New Zealand’s proposal with a plan to send injury prevention information throughout New Zealand across the basketball community.

Basketball New Zealand’s Coach Development Director Natu Taufale says every coach should make injury prevention part of their job.

"Injury prevention can be underrated by coaches in any sport. Yet, to be a truly great coach, you will also ensure a duty of care for your players and protect them from injury as best you can. 

“A great deal of injuries can be prevented with simple warm up and warm down programmes, which is a big part of the ACC Sportsmart programme. Those exercises must be done correctly and arming our coaches with that knowledge will go a long way,” says Mr Taufale.

Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand, with player registrations increasing by 50 percent over the last five years. It is projected to be the most popular secondary sport in the country by 2020. Along with more people playing basketball, basketball-related ACC claims are also increasing. 

To help address this, the 2018 basketball season will see the Sportsmart Warm Up and concussion awareness information become a core component for coaches of senior teams across New Zealand. Mr Taufale expects these resources will reach over 1000 coaches and the training will be rolled out by a newly recruited team of Basketball New Zealand Coach Developers. 

“ACC have invested a lot into Sportsmart and built a world-leading programme in my opinion, especially when it’s based on the FIFA +11 warm up, which is an evidenced based and researched programme,” says Taufale. 

“We wanted to tap into the Sportsmart resource, and share it with our Associations and coaches. To have this made official and the Sportsmart warm up resources starting to roll out in our sport is a great step. I believe, if our coaches use this information well, we will definitely see a statistical drop in basketball injuries because many of them are preventable."

Taufale says Sportsmart presents a strong opportunity to reduce knee and ankle injuries, which feature as the top two injury sites for basketball players. While the initial focus of 2018 will be around the senior game, a longer-term approach will look at the complete player pathway, from entry level right through to the elite game. 

Basketball becomes the sixth sporting code to join the Sportsmart family alongside rugby, netball, rugby league, touch and football. 

Find more on the Sportsmart programme here: