European football doctors receive training from UEFA – a sign of the growing significance of this vital area of the game.
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The French national team training centre in Clairefontaine provided an ideal setting for UEFA to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing the standards of football doctors throughout Europe.
UEFA’s Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP), which offers doctors from all 55 member associations specialist training in the medical treatment of footballers, hosted its latest workshop at the centre. Sessions focused on injury diagnosis and treatment of, among others, ankle, muscle, hip and groin injuries.
“The UEFA FDEP is a unique platform that reunites doctors across all of Europe,” said Clairefontaine course leader Prof. Jan Ekstrand. “It enables doctors to exchange their vast knowledge and experience, and to learn from one another.”
“We can already see a big change from 2013, when we first staged this type of workshop, in terms of doctors’ knowledge about football injuries.”
Replicate real-life scenarios
The event allowed doctors to spend valuable time in a football environment and replicate real-life scenarios in the French players’ dressing room, fitness room and massage/treatment rooms.
The French Football Federation (FFF) also organised a visit to the Clairefontaine medical centre, showing participants the various facilities that are located on the campus.
“The programme covers all main aspects of football medicine,” added UEFA Medical Committee chairman Tim Meyer, “and helps to increase medical standards across Europe.”
Spread medical knowledge
Practical work was complemented by theory sessions, with participants undergoing a written and practical examination to test skills learned during the two-day course. Doctors who pass the exam are encouraged to organise a ‘cascaded’ workshop at national level to help spread the benefits of the FDEP even further across Europe.
To support this objective, UEFA provides all participants with the course material (presentations, case studies, assessments, etc.). They can then replicate the same workshop at national level for their colleagues working in the associations.
A total of 28 doctors have already confirmed that they will organise ‘cascaded’ workshops during the 2019/20 season, ensuring even more doctors in each country will receive essential football medical training.
The launch of HatTrick V in the summer of 2020 will see funds from UEFA’s assistance programme for national associations allocated to the organisation of FDEP ‘cascaded’ workshops.
“I’m looking forward to an increase in the number of workshops organised by national associations, who can apply for funding to stage the events at national level,” said UEFA’s medical and anti-doping head, Marc Vouillamoz.