A new report by leading sports injury researcher, Professor Caroline Finch from the Monash Injury Research Institute looks at the new NoGAPS (National Guidance for Australian Football Partnerships and Safety) project that aims to reduce the gaps within player safety in Australian football.
NoGAPS is a major research collaboration with a goal of identifying the factors that influence the translation of research evidence into sports injury prevention practice in the context of community sport, using community-level Australian football as the example.
“There is a pressing need to evaluate the effectiveness of sports safety interventions in the real-world context of sports delivery to understand the public health impact,” said Professor Finch.
“The NoGAPS project will direct significant research attention towards understanding how sports safety policy is set, particularly at the community level.”
The project will look at scientific evidence for lower limb injury prevention and exercise training guidelines in community football, seeking input from local sporting groups.
“It is clear that sports safety efforts are currently hampered because limited research attention has focused on understanding the intervention implementation context and processes, including barriers and facilitators to sustainable programs.
“We need to know what will make athletes and their coaches take up injury prevention advice. We also need to know what will make sports bodies, administrators and coaches then adopt them as long-term practice.
“Our overall aim is to improve safety in sport at all levels of training by understanding, developing and delivering community sports training programs,” said Professor Finch.
NoGAPS is a partnership between the Monash Injury Research Institute, Australian Football League (AFL), Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), NSW Sporting Injuries Committee, JLT Sport, Department of Planning and Community Development, Sport and Recreation Victorian Division, and Sports Medicine Australia.