Podium is taking a holistic approach to the study of sports injury in young people, considering the primary and secondary and interlinked factors that may relate to the cause and effect of injury. We are interested in physical and mental health, their interconnectedness, and the states of mind of young people before, during and after injury.
Sports injury in young people is a complex and complicated issue. There are many interlinked factors that determine whether a player is likely to sustain an injury (the environment, equipment, training, state of mind etc.), the severity of the injury, and how they will respond and recover from the injury.
Podium will collect data on injuries from multiple perspectives. The coach or teacher that is taking the session can provide objective information about what has occurred, when and how. A medical professional, if available, can provide additional diagnostic and classification information, as well as details of any treatment recommended. The young person and the parent can offer a unique perspective of context and narrative surrounding their injury as well as corroborating injury detail provided by others, such as coaches and teachers.
The relationship between illness and injury is something that has been investigated at an elite level, but data concerning the correlation between illness and injury at a recreational level and in youth sport is lacking. Podium will investigate this relationship in young people.
In an elite environment, we manage the exposure (or workload) of athletes because we understand that the relationship between exposure and injury is critical to managing athlete health. The challenge in young people is that they do not exist in an environment where all aspects of the athlete’s activity is managed. Young people play a lot of sport and a lot of different sports, and the effect of this exposure is not well understood. Podium will research the relationship between exposure and injury.
Research and action traditionally focus on the psychological impact of injury – not why it takes place and how it can be prevented. Podium aims to understand, through data and science, the importance of the mental states of young people before, during and after a sports injury, and develop interventions that make sport more psychologically safe.
We believe that the ‘psychological, social and emotional’ journey in youth sport matters. We aim to assess how psychological factors (such as low mood, anxiety, stress, poor emotional wellbeing, over training, social factors) may contribute to heightened risk factors for frequency and severity of injury.