Jamaican sports to receive proper therapy


Jamaican sports to receive proper therapy

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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Sports massage therapy and sports massage therapists have in recent times become a central part of sports and sports teams in Jamaica.

As various sporting individuals and teams have continued to effectively advance their place on the international scene so has the need to provide the best support for athletes increased.

Not surprisingly, the Jamaica Sports Massage Therapists Association (JSMTA) was launched yesterday at the office of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

Sports massage was first introduced as a short course in Jamaica at G C Foster College in 2004. It was then upgraded in 2010 when it became a two-year diploma course. Since then it was upgraded to an associate degree and now a degree programme at G C Foster College.

Track and field clubs such as Racers, MVP, Swept, Sprint Tech and Akan are among those which benefit from the sports massage therapists who are trained at G C Foster College each year.

The executive members of the JSAMTA are President Marcia Swyer-Forbes; First Vice-President Rae McFarlane; Second Vice-President Donovan Campbell; General Secretary Yvonne Foster; Treasurer Ann-Marie Smith.

President Swyer-Forbes said that the role and function of a sports massage therapist is four-fold — pre-event preparation, recovery period after the event, maintenance during the training period, and rehabilitation after an injury.

The vision of the organisation is “to become the premier body responsible for growth and development of sports massage therapy in Jamaica”.

Among the core functions of the JSMTA are the hosting and participating in sports massage activities at the national, regional and international levels, and conducting and facilitating national training and educational seminars and practicums.

Keynote speaker at the launch was president of the Jamaica Olympic Association Christopher Samuda, who said that the JSMTA would receive full support from the JOA.

“Sport needs therapy if it is to remain healthy, alive and well and, therefore, it is not surprising that the profession of massage therapy has evolved, particularly in the last two decades into a critical caregiver of athletes.

“The Jamaica Olympic Association is spearheading the formation of the Sports Massage Therapists Association and in giving it a mandate to be a certifying regulatory professional body that will be engaged in continuing education of its member therapists, is sending a clear signal that it is professionalising every aspect of sports services and bringing accountability.

“The world has changed and therefore we must not only change, but must ourselves become change makers.”

It is now commonplace for sports massage therapists to travel with Jamaican teams to events such as the IAAF World Championships and the Olympic Games.

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