15 March 2022 – England Athletics and Podium Analytics (“Podium”), the NGO and charity committed to reducing injury in sport, have today announced a long-term partnership to tackle injury in youth athletics.
The wide-ranging collaboration will centre on reducing the incidence and impact of injury in athletics in 11-18-year-olds. A key focus of the partnership is to better manage the physical load of young athletes and see the link between (over)exposure to sporting activity and the type, and number, of injuries incurred.
Through this partnership, England Athletics and Podium will, over time, be able to better understand why injuries occur and how they can be avoided in athletes aged 11-18 – a critical stage in shaping the lifelong health and wellbeing of an individual.
The initial focus of the partnership will see Podium’s Injury Insight Platform available for athletes, between the ages of 16-18 years, who are part of England Athletics’ Youth Talent Programme (YTP).
Podium’s platform will enable England Athletics’ coaches, schools and clubs to record the hours of sporting activity and any injuries that occur for each young athlete they teach. This important data, which is currently unavailable, will enable England Athletics to have greater oversight over the volume of sporting activity being undertaken by each athlete per week, away from the monitored activity within the England Athletics talent programmes.
Chris Jones, Chief Executive Officer of England Athletics, commented: “At England Athletics, our focus is on athlete welfare and ensuring athletics is an inclusive sport where everyone can flourish. That means taking injury and recovery extremely seriously.
“As such, we are delighted to be partnering with Podium, whose platform will allow us to better understand our young athletes’ injury profiles and the activity they undertake at school and in clubs – something we’ve had no accurate way of measuring until now. Participation in all sport is something we encourage, especially in young people, but we need to find ways to prevent and manage injury better if we are to protect athletes in the long term.”
Stephen Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Podium Analytics, added: “Like us, England Athletics are determined to reduce injury in youth sport. Amongst other things, the data collected on our platform will be instrumental in helping England Athletics and the Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford better understand the links between exposure to sport and injury occurrence in youth athletics.
“The Podium platform is delivered at no cost and we encourage any of England Athletics’ partner schools to contact Podium to join our ground-breaking programme.”