Last updated January 11, 2018 at 10:42 am
Joshua Morrison has just come back from completing a very interesting internship with the Australian Rugby Union.
When I first heard from Prof. Peter Reaburn about another rugby internship being offered to my Masters of Sport Science cohort I was intrigued yet slightly nervous. I had been at my placement with the Queensland Reds for nearly 5 months but before that had no real experience with rugby whatsoever. Being an intern can be a tricky situation because in order to be given the privilege of responsibility you have to prove that you are able to handle it. However, once this trust is earned an internship can transform from a curse of having no independence to a blessing of having a pathway to learning, experiencing, and thriving in a professional environment. The deeper I moved into my internship with the Australian Rugby Union Under 20s program the more I appreciated this incredible opportunity I had been given.
My internship started off here at Bond University for the Oceania Tournament where Australia had games against Samoa, Fiji, and New Zealand. Throughout these first two weeks I was given the opportunity to help with physiotherapy screenings, strapping, gym sessions, rehab runs, supplementation, and recovery, all of which ensure that the athletes are able to train and play at an optimal intensity and reduce the risk of injury. It was great to be able to apply some of what I learned during my undergraduate degree and my two semesters of Masters of Sports Science course work here at Bond to a group of athletes who were both eager and receptive.
My time at Bond was great preparation for the next two months. During the tournament at Bond, I was asked to join the team in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport for their pre-World Champions training camp. During our Masters course, we constantly interact with professionals who have spent significant time with various athletes at the AIS so I was overjoyed to be able to experience it firsthand. While down at the AIS I was given more freedom and responsibility while continuing to improve my unpolished physiotherapy skills. My main responsibility throughout the tour was to collect and analyse the GPS data for each athlete. By monitoring each drill and session for their distance, intensity, accelerations and decelerations, and occasionally their max speed, it is possible to adapt subsequent sessions to reduce risk of injury and recognise individuals who may have a risky spike in these parameters.
Following a successful team camp at the AIS we made the long journey to Tbilisi, Georgia (the country not the southern US State!). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Georgia, it’s a former Soviet Union country bordering Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Tbilisi was a culturally rich city that had been mostly untouched by Western tourism since their recent independence of 2009. The World Championships would start with three pool games against Wales, Samoa, and England working towards advancing to the knockout rounds. Our professors often talk a lot about adapting to what is available in order to deliver the highest quality of work, which was especially relevant for moving from the amazing facilities at the AIS to facilities in Tbilisi where we had to get much more creative and resourceful.
Although we didn’t end up with the result we had worked for, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to not only work with an elite international team but represent an amazing country that has given me so many opportunities. I give all the credit to the amazing staff for treating me as a valuable member of the team, continuously answering my questions, giving me the confidence to apply the knowledge I brought into the tour, and for building strong professional and personal relationships with all of them!
Get up to speed with sport science with a Masters of Exercise and Sport Science at Bond University.
The Bond University Master of Sports Science is designed to develop specialist knowledge and skills relating to strength and conditioning and high performance science of elite athletes. The program is suitable for graduates in exercise and sports science aspiring for a career in high performance sport, or for established professionals such as domestic and international strength and conditioning coaches, or high performance managers seeking professional updates. This unique program places a strong emphasis on comprehensive practical experience and industry immersion, including a two semester full-time professional internship under the mentorship of a sports scientist.
Written by Joshua Morrison. Paid for by Bond University, supporting Ultimate Careers.
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