Medics join the team with Sunraysia footy and netball clinic


SFNL board members and presidents on Wednesday night voted in favour of the initiative, allowing the clinic to start this weekend.

At the “one-stop shop” clinic, Ontario Family Practice GP Dr Travis Taggert and a medical team will be on call to provide treatment to any players who need it.

“Each club has a dedicated medical liaison officer who will liaise between the injured player and myself,” Dr Taggert said.

“What this means, essentially, is the officer will have my dedicated on-call phone number, and can call me from the court or the field when an injury occurs.

“I will be assessing injuries initially over the phone or via FaceTime in the first instance, and from there, a plan will be put into place.

“If they need further treatment, they can come directly into the injury clinic, where my team and myself will be available to provide any on the spot care required.”

Dr Taggert has established relationships with Lime Avenue Radiology and iMed Radiology, to ensure any athletes needing CT scans or X-rays can access them on Monday morning.

“Both radiology clinics are in partnership with us, and have agreed to put aside dedicated places on Mondays for any players who have been referred from the injury clinic,” he said.

“They’ve also dedicated an MRI spot — which is great in terms of diagnosing injuries like ACL and knee injuries.

“At times in Mildura, there’s often a bit of a wait to get these types of medical images done, so we’re really thankful for this support.”

The injury clinic will also have available a range of medical supplies from Country Care, including moonboots, slings, crutches and wrist splints on site, available to be fitted by the team.

“Lime Therapy are on board with us to that end, and they will be available for physiotherapy, hand therapy, splints and that sort of thing,” Dr Taggert said.

“It’s about more than just providing initial treatment on the day — it’s about ensuring follow-up care is there too.

“Investigating test results, guiding the patient through their recovery and guiding them to rehabilitation so they can return to the game they all love, safely and efficiently.

“At the end of the day it’s about providing the best possible level of medical care for our athletes, right through from juniors, netballers and footballers.”

SFNL executive officer Peter Walker said it was a “no-brainer” for the league to back the clinic.

“For us, the establishment of this injury clinic is fantastic,” he said.

“Currently, players need to present to the emergency department … this concept basically fast-tracks (the process).

“When it was presented to (the SFNL presidents) they were unanimous in their support, they can all see the value of it.”

The Sunraysia Football and Netball Injury Clinic will operate from 10am to 6pm every Saturday for the remainder of the SFNL season.


Story & photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily


No fans No play

THE Sunraysia Football Netball League (SFNL) season will not go ahead if social distancing laws remain in place.

SFNL president Paul Matheson said unless the Victorian Government lifted all restrictions on community gatherings, no football or netball would be played in Sunraysia this year.

Club presidents voted unanimously to support the decision during a specially convened phone hook-up with league officials on Wednesday night.

“We simply will not play if there are any restrictions in place around crowd numbers — simple as that,” Mr Matheson said.

“The club presidents are all fully supportive of the decision and it’s our opinion we have a social responsibility to the community not to determine who and who can’t attend games — so no crowd, no play.”

The SFNL season had been put on hold until at least May 31 as the nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic but, as case numbers flattened, optimism had grown about a potential start.

In recent weeks AFL Victoria had proposed a June 6 start could be possible for community football if, on May 11, the Victorian Government relaxed its strict social distancing laws.

Mr Matheson said while he appreciated the SFNL was affiliated with AFL Victoria, it was not required to take direction from it.

“It is obviously a little bit different for us because we are an independent league,” he said.

“While we are affiliated with the AFL, the decision rests solely with the board — the Sunraysia Football Netball League board.

“We are unified clubs. We are a football and netball league and that makes it difficult when we deal with the AFL — AFL are only in control of football.

“We identify we are family clubs and people have sons and daughters who play both sports — the parents volunteer for both sports.

“For clubs to be as successful as they are, it is a total commitment by the whole family unit, so the decision we have made — and will always make — is both sports being one entity.”

Mr Matheson said the financial impact of games being played without crowds had been something the league and presidents had discussed, but did not ultimately influence their decision.

“Our clubs can afford to play and it just goes to show how resilient and how financial they are,” Mr Matheson said.

“I wouldn’t think there would be too many leagues across Victoria, let alone Australia, who could proceed without an income.

“Even though (clubs) have made a decision they don’t want to proceed without crowds, they could proceed if they had to.

“It would obviously be a big strain on the league and club finances, but how many leagues and clubs have finances in today’s environment? I would tend to say the ones run by the AFL don’t.”

The SFNL board will meet on May 6 to officially ratify Wednesday’s decision.