From the BodyLab Blog

We’re a big fan of the FAN event!

On the weekend the team went into Melbourne for The Female Athlete Networking (FAN) and Education Event. An athlete, to us, is anyone who intentionally moves their body, therefore making the takeaways applicable to a large portion of our amazing client base. A variety of expert panels provided us with information about how to advocate for women in sport and factors to consider when treating this population group. 

This event was created by Emily Sheers, who is the founder of the FAN. Emily is a Geelong based practitioner, who in her career noticed the gap in knowledge women have in relation to their own bodies. This gap is highlighted when transitioning into the athletic space and the complexities that come along with that. This event created the space to share expert knowledge between many health professionals so that women can be better supported and advocated for in the sporting world.

7 key takeaways that I learned about performance for women in sport

  1. There is research being developed about the impact the menstrual cycle has on fatigue, load and recovery. There is a big gap in research when it comes to this topic so gaining this understanding is exciting. 
  2. The impact concussion has on the body and understanding long term effects when symptoms don’t subside. We gained understanding about returning to activity post head trauma. Interestingly, women experience more long lasting effects from concussions and this is thought to have a link with the menstrual cycle. 
  3. Fueling the body with adequate nutrition to meet activity levels is vital for optimal performance and to keep the reproductive system healthy. 
  4. Body confidence is something that lots of young female athletes struggle with, especially now with the pressures of social media. The website provides young athletes with workshops to assist in building confidence and gain understanding in your menstrual cycle, nutrition and performance mindset. It was created by two professional Ironwomen athletes, Lizzie Welborn and Harriet Brown, who each had their own struggles with their body image within the professional athletic world. 
  5. Pelvic pain and irregular cycles are not normal and not something that women should have to endure. It is important to get a second opinion if you feel you are not being listened to by your GP. 
  6. Treating pelvic pain is often a multidisciplinary approach. Pelvic floor physios and acupuncturists can play an important role in pain management and rehabilitation. 
  7. It is vital to wear breast protection when competing in contact sports. Zena sport are a geelong based brand that have created protective vests for both women and adolescents, designed specifically for women who play contact sports 

I left the two days feeling empowered by the information I have gained and by all the strong women leading the way. I was surrounded by experts in the field and left with an abundance of tools and knowledge to pass on to clients. We’re excited to see this area of research, which is currently lacking, grow to be an abundance of knowledge for female athletes.

If you have any questions or want to know more about how this event could help you, feel free to contact me, Renae, via email ([email protected]) or at the clinic on 03 4227 2606.