Our guide to sports first aid courses


Are you a referee, a Pilates teacher, a tennis coach, a rugby player, a runner? If you are, or if you’re in any other way involved in sport, you might want to consider taking a sports first aid course.


Sports first aid courses are suited to anyone who works in the sports sector. These courses cover specific problems that arise in sports, such as soft tissue injuries (sprains and strains), fractures, dislocations, broken bones, cuts, and head and spinal injuries. Sports first aiders can play a vital role in speeding up an athlete’s recovery from injury, so a large part of sports first aid involves assessing if an athlete is ready to return to sport or not.


What do you actually do on a sports first aid course?

Sports first aid courses provide the necessary theoretical and practical skills required to carry out competent sports first aid. You will be assessed during the course through practical observation and some written exercises. On completion of the course, you will receive an Emergency First Aid for Sports certificate, which is valid for three years. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend an update of your first aid skills once a year.

There are not normally entry requirements and no previous knowledge of first aid is needed. But some courses require students to have completed a regular first aid course beforehand.

Sports first aid courses typically only last one day and some are better and more thorough than others. Make sure that you choose a course that will leave you feeling confident to use your skills in a real life situation; it is important that the course matches your needs and the requirements of the sports you are involved with.


First Aid Football Facts

·         The top five football injuries are: 1) Hamstring strain 2) Sprained ankle 3) Knee cartilage tear 4) Hernia 5) Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

·         The overall incidence of football injuries is as much as 35 injuries per 1000 hours of football in adults. The older the player, the more likely they are to get injured.

·         Footballers suffer more injuries than those involved in field hockey, rugby, cricket, cycling, judo, boxing and swimming. However, most football injuries are not very severe.


The top 10 most dangerous sports in the world

1.    Street Luging. Street luging riders lie flat on boards that look like long skateboards and they whizz down steep hills at extraordinarily high speeds (normally faster than 50 miles per hour). The race winner is the person who gets the fastest speed.


2.    Heli-skiiing. This is off-piste, downhill skiing on mountainsides that can only be accessed by helicopter. No ski lifts head up to these untouched parts.


3.    Big-Wave Surfing. Surfers get towed out to enormous waves, which are at least 20 feet (6.2 m) high. The chances of drowning are worryingly high.


4.    Cheerleading. Believe it or not, cheerleading is an extremely dangerous sport. Falls from considerable heights are common and result in serious injuries.


5.    High-Altitude climbing. Lack of oxygen, avalanches and crevasses are some of the greatest dangers when scaling mountain peaks.


6.    Bull-riding. This rodeo sport requires a rider to straddle a bull and stay mounted for as long as possible. When the bull sends the rider flying it’s not surprising that injuries often incur.


7.    Bull-Running. Maybe this is not a sport but it certainly gets your adrenaline and heart going. The Running of the Bulls involves running in front of a group of ten or so bulls through the town of Pamplona’s. Every year runners get severely gored.


8.    Motorcycle racing. Unsurprisingly, flying along at extreme speeds with little protection is one of the most dangerous sports.


9.    Base jumping. Base jumpers leap of things and use a parachute to break their fall. BASE stands for the four types of fixed objects that the jumpers hurl themselves off: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs).


10.  Cave Diving. Exploring underwater caves is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. You are reliant on a small tank of oxygen and often work in darkness and confined spaces. Just the thought of it is nightmarish.


By Nick Kennedy

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