First aid is an important component of the game that the PNG Rugby Union recognises as part of their High Performance training and education programs.
In conducting the World Rugby First Aid and Concussion Level 1 certification training, course facilitator and PNGRU head physiotherapist Hendriella Vilosi said there are two parts –– the online component –– plus the practical component with the medical educators.
The online component has three modules.
Vilosi said: “One module is on concussion management for the general public, where it is important for anyone involved in rugby to be aware of concussion, as it a common injury in rugby.
“This is targeting everyone from referees, players, coaches, team managers, their partners and children as well…the rugby community as a whole.”
She highlighted that when a player is knocked out those undertaking this course will know how to properly manage or address the situation.
“Once they recognise the injury by seeing the signs and symptoms of concussion they will then manage the situation and then refer the player to the hospital or a doctor.
“Importantly they are not there to diagnose.”
The other two areas are knowing what to do when providing first-aid and lastly the rugby ready module which entails strength and conditioning and its awareness.
PNGRU CEO Sailosi Druma said being knowledgeable in first aid is important towards game safety and the more people they teach the better the game is going forward.
“So as to kill several birds with one stone we have got our national sevens training squad members for both the men and women who are all currently in Port Moresby to undergo several key courses of which first aid in rugby is one.
“The other courses to further upgrade our elite players are to deal with coaching, strength and conditioning and refereeing.”
He added that during the forthcoming Super Sevens Series all provincial unions (PUs) teams that will be in Port Moresby for the duration of the tournament will also undergo these courses.
“That’s 15 people including their coach and team manager that we will deliver these courses to…that are covered in four modules each.
“It is envisaged that when they go back to their PUs they can assist their respective local competitions, as they will now be upskilled to referee matches, able to manage injuries and assist with coaching.
“At the end of the day we want the PUs to be more self-reliant and to take carriage of the development aspects of the game,” Druma added.
Vilosi is the head physiotherapist for the PNGRU national teams.
BY JOHN PANGKATANA