Teens playing GAA suffering an epidemic of injuries
Teenagers playing GAA games are suffering an "epidemic" of injuries, partly due to heavy training and poor techniques.
The injuries are affecting 13- to 18-year-olds playing hurling and Gaelic football, according to Dr Clare Lodge, a chartered physiotherapist and lecturer at IT Carlow.
"Training overload, skeletal immaturity and adolescent growth spurts, combined with training errors, poor techniques and mismatched age groups in size, maturity and experience have resulted in adolescent GAA players being particularly vulnerable to injury."
Dr Lodge will now lead the first adolescent research programme which will monitor and prevent the spiralling injuries and help to reduce the risks as players move from underage sport to adulthood.
"Adolescents are vulnerable and Gaelic games are no exception to this with young players often playing for school, club and county, often in more than one age [group] and, as a result, potentially exposing themselves to avoidable injuries," she said.