World Spine Care chiropractor treats athletes at African Youth Games

This year Botswana proudly hosted the Region 5 African Union Sport Council Youth Games. The games took place in the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone. The countries that participated were all from the southern part of Africa: Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Malawi. There were many sports represented, including Track & Field, Soccer, Swimming, Judo, Boxing, Tennis, Basketball, Netball and Volleyball.

“Chiropractors are very important parts of sports medical teams. We are so glad you are here.”

World Spine Care’s Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher recalls how he was immediately welcomed into the medical team. “I was very pleased when the head of the medical team said right at the beginning, ‘I have worked in other countries and chiropractors are very important parts of sports medical teams. We are so glad you are here.'”

Being part of the event medical team put him in a position to interact with teams from many different countries. In addition to handling countless sports injuries for the young athletes, Dr. Eberspaecher found himself very quickly in the role of the de facto translator for the Portuguese speaking medical teams from Mozambique and Angola. “Thanks to my time with World Spine Care in the Dominican Republic I speak reasonable Spanish. They seemed to understand my Spanish pretty well and when they spoke slowly I was amazed at how well I understood their Portuguese.”

Throughout the games Dr. Eberspaecher was supervising a small group of physiotherapy students. “It was really nice to work with these young, keen individuals. They were there to learn and really wanted to make the best of the opportunity. They were very eager and the questions they asked demonstrated their interest in advancing their knowledge in diagnosing and treating sports injuries.”

Dr. Eberspaecher definitely says the highlight was taking young athletes that were being pulled from competition because of injury and not only getting them back into the competition but seeing them go on to win medals. Two members of the Botswana relay team were barely walking due to injuries, after a couple treatments they went on to win gold in both the 100 and 400 metre relay.”

“A good experienced manual practitioner like a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist has a lot to offer these medical teams. Our knowledge of sports injuries best positions us to help these young athletes and get them back in the game.”

“There is a clear need here when it comes to Botswana youth sports. Given our expertise, I wonder if World Spine Care could play a role in assisting the development of these national sporting programs.”

Dr. Stefan Eberspaecher
Clinical Coordinator, Botswana World Spine Care Program

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