Masters Rowing Club hosts fitness symposium for SW athletes.

Fit and healthy: Bunbury Rowing Club members attend "First-of-its-kind in Australia" fitness symposium earlier this month. Photo: Supplied.
Fit and healthy: Bunbury Rowing Club members attend "First-of-its-kind in Australia" fitness symposium earlier this month. Photo: Supplied.

Masters Rowing WA conducted a “Fitness Symposium” for Masters Athletes. 

Clubs attending the Symposium included Bunbury, Fremantle, and Champion Lakes Rowing Clubs as well as Bunbury Triathlon Club, Fremantle Rowing Club, Champion Lakes Rowing Club, and Bunbury Over 40’s Cycle Club. 

The purpose of the day was to inform attendees of how to reduce their injury risk while participating in sport, with an eye to special issues for Masters.  

The day was sponsored by Southern Ports – Albany, Bunbury, and Esperance and by the Department of Sport and Recreation (South West).  

Synergy Sports Medicine’s Dr Gavan White started the day by emphasising that masters athletes can slow the ageing process through good nutrition, regular strength training, and proper management of injuries when they occur.  

Dr White reviewed several emerging medical approaches applicable to injuries in masters athletes such as Shock Wave Therapy and Hylan and Platelet Rich Plasma injections.

Lorelle Klumpp, RN, followed with a comprehensive discussion of Pelvic Floor Fitness and Incontinence. 

A significant number of Australians, not just masters athletes, experience urinary incontinence, with 70 per cent not seeking advice or treatment for the problem. 

In a practical session, she took attendees through pelvic floor strengthening exercises. 

She also discussed preventative approaches such as exhaling with every effort, actively engaging pelvic floor muscles during exercise, and choosing supported positions.  

Sports psychology is a resource for professional and elite level athletes. 

Psychologist Dom Marzano took the group through approaches that were useful for both sport and life. 

His strong message was that positive emotions can have a strong life influence improving one’s quality of life and athletic performance. 

In a workshop setting, the participants worked through identifying Controllables and Uncontrollables and how to focus on those things that one can control.   

He also encouraged participants to find a bigger meaning in life than themselves because by giving without expectations, one can be happier.

Dietician Fiona Collins said nutrition and hydration are key components of athletic performance.

“A good diet will not make a mediocre athlete into a champion, but poor food choices can turn a champion into a mediocre athlete,” she said.  

She emphasised the importance of recovery nutrition and hydration for masters, and all, athletes. 

Ms Collins also described how masters athletes could expect to see performance improvements, regardless of what age they began participating in sport, even at 55 and 101 years of age.

Bunbury Physiotherapy Centre’s Colin Strydom encouraged participants to train aerobically each week while adding at least two days a week of resistance training for all major muscle groups. 

Mr Strydom then guided participants through assessing when to consult a physiotherapist and the types of rehabilitation that are required for various injuries.

Maximum Results Exercise Physiologist Marg Rhodes reviewed training principles with emphasis on age related changes that can be halted or slowed using specific types of training strategies. 

She discussed such training aspects as volume of training, training intensity, duration, and adaptation in older athletes. 

She followed her discussion of flexibility training with a workshop that tested flexibility at different parts of the body (ankle, hip, upper thoracic) and provided some forward strategies for remediating. 

She ended with a strong emphasis on strength training for all adults, particularly those over 50 for whom muscle mass and strength decline at 50. 

Over half of the attendees are coaches in their sport and will be bringing that information to their coaching practice.