School sports days will be taking place all over the country this month. Children will be practicing and teachers will be preparing them for their big race or event. However it is this most ill-prepared event that usually attracts the most attention….The Parents Race. Osteopaths and physiotherapists will treat many injured parents post their ‘big race’ this summer. Hamstring strains and low back injuries are most common but ankles and knees are also high up on the casualty list along with grazed knees and hands from the false start stumble.

Parents turn up in flipflops and inappropriate dress, stand around for hours supporting and cheering on their kids, more than likely having not eaten or drank enough water and line up with half a dozen equally unprepared eager parents for their ‘race of the decade’. The whistle goes, proud or embarressed kids stand cheering and bang the first hamstring also goes and it ends up in tears.

Don’t get me wrong, it is and should be a fun event but being totally out of shape and or ill-prepared for this year ending school race can be far from fun if you end up with an injury or collapse red faced infront of your little ones.

How to avoid injury and embarrassing your offspring.

  • Drink plenty of fluids/water during the day as hydrated muscles are less likely to get injured, this also sets an example to your kids.
  • Wear appropriate footwear/trainers and not sandals or flipflops to avoid a foot, ankle, shin or achilles injury.

    Avoid flipflops

    Avoid flipflops

  • Wear reasonable clothing and avoid loose swinging ¬†jewelery.
  • Warm up 5-10 mins before the race with some gentle jogging or fast walking. Don’t look too professional tho as it may embarrass your kids.
  • Gently mobilise your joints by swinging arms, side bending your low back and circling your ankles. Focus on any problematic areas you already have.
  • Most of all have fun and don’t take it too seriously. Saying that, I don’t have kids but if I did I’m probably too competitive not to take it too seriously myself so…

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