17 May 2018 – It’s all systems go for the first ever Medical Symposium to be held by the South African Football Association (SAFA) this weekend (Saturday, 19 May 2018) at SAFA House in Nasrec from 08h00.

SAFA Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya, who is also the Bafana Bafana Medical Doctor, will lead the one-day gathering by some of the greatest medical minds in the sporting fraternity.

It will cover various topics and will be held under the theme “FOOTBALL MEDICINE: WHERE ARE WE?”

The participants will include football medical staff (Doctors, Physiotherapists, Physical Trainers, Masseurs, Biokineticists, Sports Dieticians & Sports Psychologists) as well as SAFA & PSL coaches and referees. Also in attendance will be SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble and Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter.

The symposium will be held in collaboration with the PSL, COSAFA, CAF and the FIFA Medical Commission.

“We are very excited about this event, it is the first of it’s kind on the continent and we hope it will bear fruit as we will have the majority of the medical minds in one room to find solutions to some of the challenges we come across as medical practitioners in the sporting fraternity,” said Dr Ngwenya.

Some of the topics to be covered include:

  • Football-related injuries (diagnosis & management)
  • Emergency football medicine (Sudden Cardiac Arrest)
  • Concussion management new trends
  • Travel medicine (Jet lag, fatigue, disease risk assessment)
  • FIFA medical rules & regulations
  • Rehabilitation & recuperation
  • Medical ethics and doping control
  • Football Nutrition (Match day meal)
  • Football Psychology (Performance anxiety, coping with social pressures, RTP after injury
  • Communication between Clubs & National Teams

Presentations will be delivered by local and international medical professionals like Dr Joseph Kabungo (CAF, FIFA); Dr Jon Patricios (SASMA, PSL); Dr Sello Motaung (SAFA); Dr Ephraim Nematswerane (SAFA, SASCOC); Dr Lesego Sikele (Botswana FA); Dr Lesedinyana Odiseng (CAF, Botswana FA); Dr Lervasen Pillay (PSL); Miss Simone Conley (NFD, SAFA); Miss Lerato Mnguni (Mental Trainer) as well as Mr. Daddy Mathews (Sports Dietician).

Dr Ngwenya hopes the event will be an annual gathering.

“Of course, with the numbers and personnel that will attend, our aim as the SAFA Medical Department is make sure that we open that dialogue for all medical practitioners in sports, in particular football. We are confident that at the end of the day, there will be another date for another gathering because in any case one day can never be enough to discuss thoroughly all the issues at hand,” said Dr Ngwenya.

“We are confident that in turn, this will not only help South African clubs, but will spread throughout the continent.”

The objectives of the symposium are, amongst others.

  • Share recent medical knowledge
  • Establish a good patient care system between clubs and national teams
  • Improve player performance through good medical management systems
  • Promote medical emergency awareness on the field of play
  • Promote the prevention of medical emergencies through proper pre-season or pre-competition screening system
  • Enhance the working relationship between Coaches and Medical teams
  • Ultimately contribute in improving the football performance in our country, region, continent and the world.

All our service providers and sponsors (e.g. Netcare, EMS and Energade) will hold an EXPO outside the venue. The Symposium is CPD, SASMA, SASCOC, SASTM accredited.