Arsenal FC SEMS Conference 2016

Two students studying the MSc in Sports & Biomechanical Medicine at the TORT Centre attended this year’s Arsenal Football Club SEMS Conference held at the Emirates Stadium on March 22nd 2016. The conference theme this year was Marginal Gains in Sports Medicine: Securing the Edge in Injury Prevention, Recovery, Performance and Player Welfare.

Marita Marshall and Codey Forrest both made the trip from Dundee to attend the sixth annual conference. The day began with a tour of the world class Emirates facility allowing attendees access to the Arsenal dressing room, dugout and executive boxes.

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Left: Marita and Codey at the Emirates Stadium tour; SEMS conference

The event was hosted Dr Gary O’Driscoll (Arsenal Football Club Medical Director) and Mr Colin Lewin (Head of Medical Services). The conference was then opened with an enlightening discussion with now retired Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on his life as a professional footballer and perceptions of injury from a player’s perspective before moving onto Headline speaker and sports medicine guru Professor Karim Khan. There were also presentations from Dr David Opar on mitigating the risk of hamstring injury in elite sport, Dr Clare Ardern on the role of psychological factors in return to play after serious injury and Dr Michael Collins and Dr Mark Lovell on concussion management in sports. A presentation by Mr Richard Moore, although not scientific, proved to be thought provoking as he discussed factors influencing desire, determination and hunger in the athlete.

The theme ‘Marginal Gains’ was underpinned in each presentation and served as a timely reminder of the basic things sometimes overlooked which are key in improving overall sports performance. There was also a host of exhibitors in attendance covering a range of services for sports teams and sports medicine practitioners.

Marita stated: “It was a great opportunity being exposed to a high level sports medicine conference at an extraordinary venue. The presenters all were key players in their respective fields and the information presented was highly valuable. There was also the chance to view a number of existing and emerging products by exhibitors. The key take home message for me was that the Basics done well = Major Gains!

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Left: Emirates Stadium; Right: Marita getting her body composition measured by mobile bioimpedance analysis

Professor Rami Abboud added: “The opportunity to send Marita and Codey to attend the conference was an easy one to make following the invitation that I received to attend. The conference is packed with world renowned sports medicine practitioners and scientists and I felt that this year was exceptional and to send two of our students to attend to complement what is already delivered here in Dundee”.