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Home / Personality of the week - Where there are sports, there will be injuries - Ngunovandu

Personality of the week - Where there are sports, there will be injuries - Ngunovandu

2023-06-08  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Where there are sports, there will be injuries - Ngunovandu

How did you start your journey as a sports medic? Can you tell us about the moment or experience that inspired you to pursue this career?

I started as a national netball player in 2002. Whenever a fellow teammate got injured, I always volunteered to help. In 2003, my passion was officially triggered as I followed the national football team to South Africa. In 2004, I followed the U/20 Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Cup tournament as the only female registered nurse while I was still playing netball.


As a woman in the field of sports medicine, how challenging was it for you to establish yourself and be recognised? 

It was very challenging as I was not acquitted with sports medicine. The challenges that I experienced triggered my interest and passion for sports medicine. There were a lot of stereotypical comments as I was the only female who worked as a sports medicine officer.


Were there any individuals who played a significant role in helping you navigate the challenges you faced? 

Doctor Michael Tune and Doctor Bernard Haufiku were my motivators, they are my role models. Doctor Haufiku inspired me to start studying sports medicine, he showed keen interest in my potential.


Could you share the year when you decided to become a sports medic and embark on this career path?

I started studying sports medicine in 2004 officially.


Can you tell me about your educational journey and any specialised training you pursued?

Currently, the sports medicine field is an unidentified field of study, as there are no institutions specialising in that field and it is also not recognised by the Health Council in Namibia.


Is sports medicine as a profession worth pursuing for aspiring sports medics?

It is most definitely a career worth pursuing because where there are sports, there will be injuries.


Can you share any memorable experiences or achievements that you have experienced in your field of work?

I got the chance to work with Agnes Samaria, one of the greatest athletes that I have met. I also worked at the 2010 World Cup where I got the chance to work with all International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) doctors.


Looking back, what would you say was the most challenging aspect of your journey as a sports medic? How did you overcome it?

In the 2014 Africa Cup of Nations, I worked as a medical overseer, and it was quite a big role that I had to play. My passion for sports gave me the drive to overcome it, my passion has always been greater than any challenge thrown my way.

What are your dreams/future aspirations in your profession?

My dream is for sports medicine to be officially recognised in our country as a field of study as well as a profession.


What are some common injuries you frequently encounter in your line of work? 

The common injuries are known as the ‘SSS’, sprains, strains, and springs.


How important is the collaboration and communication between sports medics, coaches, and athletes in optimising performance and ensuring the well-being of athletes? 

There must be harmonious communication between sports personnel as feedback needs to be given back and forth to ensure the optimal performances of athletes.


How do you stay up-to-date with the latest advancements, techniques, and research in your profession?  

I constantly take online courses offered internationally and I also attend national and international conferences that deal with sports.


What advice would you give to young individuals aspiring to pursue a career in sports medicine? 

One should have passion and love for sports as those are key qualities. Career development is a great skill that one should possess as well as understanding and mastering sports injuries.

2023-06-08  Staff Reporter

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