Keeping the athletes in the Pan American Games

Brad Ferguson

Editor’s Note: Kyle Mackay is a reporter with The Enfield Weekly Press/The Lakerwhich (like Halifax Magazine) is owned by Advocate Printing & Publishing.

Toronto hosts the 2015 Pan American Games from July 10 to 26 and Brad Ferguson, a chiropractor with ProTX in Elmsdale will be on Team Canada’s medical staff doing his part to help the home side get the gold. “I’ve done a lot of sporting events, but you want to want do a lot of major games—things like the Pan Am games, or the Olympics,” he says. “That fact that it was in Toronto is great. It could have been in Brazil, or somewhere like that, but Toronto is just as easy.

“I like the idea of representing East Hants, a lot of times the medical staff in general is from Ontario, due simple to ease of use,” he said. “I think there are some physiotherapists and athletic therapists from Nova Scotia as well, but I’m the only chiropractor. “

Ferguson will be using the clinical skills that he uses every day in his own practice while he’s at the Pan Am games. “From an actual practice standpoint, there won’t be a lot to prepare for,” explains Ferguson. “A lot of the skills I’ll be using there are skills I have used, and skills I do use every day. A lot of the preparation is for the specific venues. So there’s a lot of organization that goes into that. Whether it be at rugby or the marathon, there’s a process to be followed: accreditation, protocols for the game, and online training modules. So there’s a lot of practice from that standpoint; probably 15 or 20 hours that go into it just to make sure when you’re there it all goes smoothly.”

The depth of Ferguson’s role on the team currently is more like first aid (based at the rugby pitch), but that might change. “It really depends,” he says. “If you have a high-level team, they often bring their own medical staff. Some athletes will not, so what they’ll use is the host medical clinic, in Toronto, which will have all of the medical staff under one roof, quick accress to MRI and CT Scans, and then you’ll have people located at each event themselves.

The appeal for Ferguson is the chance to get hands-on experience with high-level athletes, and see how other professionals go about their work. “Typically you don’t know what to expect, sometimes it could be quiet, or there could be a lot of injuries,” said Ferguson. “The good thing is that there is a lot of practitioners from different professions. So you can use them as a support, and you can learn a lot. I view it as a twofold experience: the first is practical experience, but the second is to watch others work, and see how other practitioners work and network.”

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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