Campaign aims to reduce ball injuries

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Campaign aims to reduce ball injuries

A new Swiss education campaign has been launched with the aim of reducing accidents in ball sports by 10 percent by 2014.



The Swiss National Accident Insurance Organization (SUVA) is launching the new training program, in collaboration with five major sports federations.

The organization said that more than 60,000 people get hurt while practicing sports such as football, handball, basketball and volleyball. The training program should help avoid up to 6,000 accidents over the next four years.

Currently, accidents affecting athletes and amateurs in ball sports cost 180 million Swiss francs annually, SUVA said in a statement.

The prevention program, called "Sport Basics," will help prevent those injuries that are more likely in these types of sport, such as foot joints, knee ligaments back and shoulder problems. The six exercises, developed by Dr. Kerstin Warnke, a specialist in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine and the head of the medical team of the Swiss Olympic Summer Games, target the body’s weaker points.

"The exercises are designed specifically for those who practice sports with the ball in recreational or competitive ways and for those who want to do something to remain in shape," Dr. Warnke said in the statement.

Five ball sports federations and the Swiss Olympic are incorporating the exercises into courses for their coaches. SUVA calculates that the training advice will then be promoted among more than 400,000 licensed players.

According to statistics dating back to 2008, winter sport accidents amounted to 49,115 cases, while ball sports peaked at 60,161, with the large majority of incidents occurring in football (44,701). 



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