Well, not quite! But if you play any of the various codes of football, including the European flavour of football, you may well be part of a recent statistic showing nearly a third of all sport injury hospitalisations for 2011-12 were associated with playing footy. [AIHW Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12. 4 Nov 14]
If you throw in the motor and water sports, that percentage of hospitalised injuries jumps up to almost half according to the AIHW report.
Drilling down further, the severity of the injuries also varied by sport, which is not surprising. As one would suspect the on-road sports such as cycling and motor sports were in this category. The third sport which may surprise some in the general community but certainly not those participating in the sport, is equestrian activities. Together these 3 sports had a particularly high proportion of severe injuries, with about one quarter of cases considered to be life-threatening. [AIHW Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12. 4 Nov 14]. After the 2 tragic deaths of jockeys Caitlin Forrest in South Australia and Carly-Mae Pye in Queensland recently, it brings home how dangerous equestrian sport can be albeit these women were professional jockeys in the course of their work.
For those participating in the wheeled motor sports such as motorcycling and go-carting..…it can be awesome fun!….until the wheels fall off and an accident happens. Motor sport injuries have the longest hospital stays with an average of 3.5 days. [AIHW Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011-12 4 Nov 14]. Phooey you may say but what the report does not cover is the rehabilitation period post hospital; or the long term effects of the injuries on people’s health, their work capacity and their families.
As a law firm who deals with injured clients we see the after-effects of accidents at work, on the road or in public places. We assist those injured community members with their problems which may only present some months after the injury. We often see the ripple effect where the initial injury later goes on to impact your mobility, strength, coordination, cognitive function, sexual function, and/or your general well-being and emotional state.
When you take up a sport it is often to improve you physical health and fitness as well as a social outlet to meet new friends. And we are all used to signing our life away on the clubs’ Indemnity Forms. There is consensus that players and parents of players have a responsibility to be fully informed and made aware of the inherent risk in the chosen sport. Players and parents also need to follow all guidelines to help sports clubs manage and mitigate any inherent risk to reduce injuries. However sports clubs, associations and recreational businesses cannot “contract out” of their legal responsibility to ensure their participants are safe.
For example there is still a responsibility to provide proper working order equipment that minimises risk of injury. There is also a responsibility to ensure the playing environment, rules and policies minimise the risk of injury.
This matrix of policies, equipment and safety gear is constantly evolving in most sports as technology, standards, community expectations and insurer regulations change – so stay informed.
If you do love being a weekend warrior but it ends up in tears then please consult a solicitor who can assist with your injury – because even though you may still front up to work the next Monday, it can be the weeks following when the hurt stubbornly lingers that you really need some serious help!
PK Simpson Solicitors have been practicing in Sydney since 1997. During this time we have been helping the people of NSW get the maximum injury compensation they are entitled to. We assist in all personal injury matters as well as contesting wills. Our multicultural team and work culture is one of hard work and friendly service with respect for our clients regardless of nationality, job or income.