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About the IFSPT


IFSPT is a world-wide Federation, recognised as a subgroup of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT), representing national organizations of Sports Physiotherapy. The efforts of IFSPT are directed towards Member Organizations and their individual members in serving athletes of all ages and abilities through excellence in education, research, practice, and clinical specialisation. The intention of the IFSPT is to be the international resource for Sports Physical Therapists all over the world.



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The President's Corner 



Dr. Nicola Phillips, President, IFSPT 


Hello again. This edition of the newsletter brings you lots of news and updates on developments following our really successful General Meeting in South Africa at the beginning of September. More formal reports will be sent out on that but in the meantime, on behalf of IFSPT, I'd like to give another BIG thank you to Craig Smith, our EB member from Capetown and Ria Oberholzer with her team of South Africa Sports Physiotherapy group members who were all fantastic in supporting two excellent seminars.


Hopefully the South Africa Sports Physio group enjoyed the input of speakers from a wide range of countries. Certainly we all enjoyed the interaction with the local physios. It never ceases to amaze me how you can travel anywhere in the world, and when physios get together we always very quickly find a common language, once the formalities are dispensed with!


The reports from GM will detail the developments planned for the coming year but keep going back to the website over the next couple of months as we upload the information to be able to apply for IFSPT accreditation of specialist pathways and for recognition of sports PT courses run in your country. Following the re-election of Board Members section, I am really pleased to be continuing my role as President for one more term and I am looking forward to continued journey!


At the meeting, I also made a plea to all members to send in material for Mary Wilkinson to include in our newsletters. We want this communication to be vibrant and current and we can only do that if members provide us with stories or clinical information. It doesn't matter if it is a small individual project or a larger national one - send it in, as there will always be physios in other countries who either hadn't thought of it or who have been thinking of trying something similar and would benefit from your views. Send us your entertaining stories as well as your academic, seriously clinical ones - they all help us build the community we are striving for in IFSPT.


So I hope you enjoy this edition and find it useful!

Success in South Africa!

The IFSPT sponsored two symposia in South Africa, as well as its biennial General Meeting and annual Executive Board meeting.

The first symposium was held in Centurion, Gauteng, as part of the South African Sports Physiotherapy Group. Over 100 attendees participated in the IFSPT half-day symposium. Topics included
  • The Role of the Hamstring in Fast Running: Implications for Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation
  • Current concepts in shoulder rehabilitation
  • Current concepts in elbow rehabilitation
  • K-Tape (Elastic Adhesive Tape) in musculoskeletal and sports injury rehabilitation: the evidence today
  • Current concepts in knee rehabilitation
  • Current concepts in patellofemoral pain rehabilitation
  • Gordon Eiland, PT, MA, SCS (USA)
  • Taping and prevention of sports injuries: the evidence today
  • Concussion in sports: what should the sports PT know?
  • Return to play decision from the sports PT perspective - Panel discussion
Tim Tyler, President of SPTS, US, and Craig Ranson, UK, both speakers for the Centurion conference, connect at the afternoon break.

The crowd gathers for the Centurion conference.

Left to right, Bakare Ummukulthoum, Nigeria; Tim Tyler, SPTS President, US; Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President, UK; Maria Constantinou, IFSPT Secretary, Australia; Gordon Eiland, IFSPT Treasurer, US; and Tony Schneiders, IFSPT Board Representative at Large, New Zealand.

Tony Schneider, New Zealand, and Maria Constantinou, Australia, flank Ria Sandenburgh, Chair of the South African Sports Physiotherapy Group.

"We were warmly welcomed and supported by the South African Sports Physiotherapy Group," says Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President. "The conference was a complete success, and we appreciate everything they did to contribute to a great event."

The second symposium was held in Cape Town as part of the IFSPT General Meeting. Seventeen member organizations participated in the General Meeting in the morning, followed by a nearly sellout 60-person crowd for the symposium.

A panoramic shot of the General Meeting.

General Meeting attendees, from front left: Mary Wilkinson, IFSPT Director of Marketing; Tony Schneiders, NZ; Volga Tunay, Turkey; Laura Hanna, UK (partially obscured); Nevin Ergun, Turkey; Vibeke Bechthold, DE; Bente Andersen, DE; Gordon Eiland, US; Luca Francini, IT; Carlo Ramponi (back), IT; Jeffrey Jansen, ND; Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President, UK; Yukio Urabe, Japan; Bakare Ummukulthoum, Nigeria (back); Peter Halen, Finland (partially obscured); Craig Smith, SA; Maria Constantinou, AUS; Mario Bizzini (back), SWI; Karl Lochner, Austria (back); Diana Czerkowa, Germany (middle); Gul Baltaci, Turkey; Karen Coughlan, Ireland (partially obscured); Lakis Droushiotis, Cyprus, front.

Carlo Ramponi, Italy, and Mary Wilkinson, IFSPT Director of Marketing, man the registration table.

Gul Baltaci, Turkey, and Jeffrey Jansen, Netherlands, connect at the conference break.

Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President, fields questions after her conference presentation.

Time to relax together! Delegates meet for dinner after the conference. Left to right, Nevin Ergun, Turkey; Yukio Urabe, Japan; Joris Stavenhuiter, Netherlands; Jeffrey Jansen, Netherlands; Jeroen Bijman, Netherlands; and Mario Bizzini, Switzerland.

Gordon Eiland, US; Diana Czerkowa, Germany; Lakis Droushiotis, Cyprus; Mary Droushiotis; Mark Brown, Australia. In the background, Seppo Pehkonnen, Finland; Luca Francini and Carlo Ramponi, Italy.

"It was a tremendous turnout for the first General Meeting held in the Southern Hemisphere," according to Maria Constantinou, IFSPT Secretary. Three Board Members were returned for a second term by unanimous vote: Mario Bizzini, Bente Andersen and Nicola Phillips. All will retain their current positions. The delegates also agreed to re-utilze the existing position on the Board that had been kept vacant over the last few years in order to limit the financial burden on the organization. Nevin Ergun from Turkey was therefore offered this place after her nomination for the Board. She will consider this option in light of the ongoing need for member countries to finance any representation on the Board in the short- to mid-term.

Over sixty attended the IFSPT symposium following the meeting. In addition to the Centurion topics, the following presentations were added
  • Memories of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
  • Kinesiotaping in shoulder rehabilitation: the evidence today
  • Prevention of soccer injuries: the FIFA 11+ update
"It was an outstanding showing from the South African physios," says Craig Smith, the IFSPT South African representative and IFSPT Board Member. The conference was followed by an optional delegate dinner.

The next morning, the IFSPT Executive Board held its annual meeting. Of particular discussion was the new registration process for International Sports Physical Therapists (more in this issue), the process for selecting sites for future General Meetings and Symposia (also in this issue), and partnership and financial initiatives, as well as the results of the member organization survey. More information and action plans from this meeting will be reviewed in future issues.

On Executive Board meeting day, the intensity of the meeting was balanced by a board trip to Table Mountain, with Tony Schneiders posing on top of the world, and giving Maria Constantinou a lift while Gordon Eiland looks on.

Would you like to see more IFSPT South Africa photos? Follow this link!

My African Experience...

Bakare Ummukulthoum contributed this piece and is a female Medical Rehabilitation Therapist board of Nigeria certified physiotherapist practicing in Lagos. She is also the team co-ordinator and the head of Research for the FIFA 11+ Advocacy and Implementation Team Project in Nigeria.  


So here we are finally...I am writing this piece about an African experience like none other. As a Nigerian, born and raised in Africa, one might wonder why it might seems a little unconventional that I will write with such excitement. I had visited South Africa before, so it was not something new in terms of visiting a place interest. What was different this time was I finally get to meet with the IFSPT family. This is where my journey truly begins...

Since I heard the news that a series of symposia, in cooperation with the Sports Physio Group of the SA Physiotherapy Association, as well as a General Meeting would be taking place in Africa for the very first time, I was determined to make it a date. Being from a member organisation but not having the opportunity to have attended any IFSPT gathering was finally going to be laid to rest and indeed the focal point of motivation to embark on a potentially life-changing experience. It might sound easy for an African to visit another African country, but with administrative bottlenecks and delays in visa processing times in Nigeria, it looked uncertain that my dreams of making this trip to South Africa was a tall one. I and a couple of other colleagues were originally scheduled to attend but we didn't quite anticipate the outcomes. Eventually after much ado, I was the only one who was able to cross the hurdles and secure the necessary entry permit to arrive in SA.

As I made my way through the airport after the tiring six-hour overnight 
With Mary Wilkinson, Director of Marketing for the IFSPT. 
flight, it appeared I might be the only one who had the least amount of miles to cover coming from outside South Africa to attend the auspicious event, considering the fact that there where PTs from all across the globe present from Australia to Zurich! Barely arriving just a few hours before the kick off of the Johannesburg symposium, in no time I shook off the jet-lag as soon as things began to unfold. I finally got to meet the IFSPT dream team/community of physios who make things happen on the global stage. It was pretty exciting to have met Mary Wilkinson first at the registration desk, who effortlessly coordinated the smooth operations (as well as helping to obtain my visa!), and despite our several e-mails back and forth ahead of my trip, I finally could put a face to her name.

With IFSPT President, Nicola Phillips. 
I won't say I was exactly star struck when I met the quartet of Nicola, Craig, Maria and Mark, but it was definitely something much more than that. These are people who I had read about within and outside IFSPT circles, and they were just like typical everyday people. Warm, endearing, friendly and ready to offer their assistance at the drop of a hint. I was also able to meet other Sports PTs from the host country South Africa as well as from around the globe. I made friends and struck alliances with colleagues from Italy, Germany, Finland, Cyprus, Turkey, Netherlands, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, and Austria, just to name a few! What readily comes to mind is the alliance of a United Nations for Sports Physiotherapy, as I would like to call it. After a thorough learning and social experience from all the events planned out in the days we spent in the Southern African region, I drew the conclusion that it really didn't matter who we are or where we are located across the globe to experience the vibe of unison amongst a diverse group of people who represent this special interest group in our profession.
A festive dinner group with representatives from Denmark, Ireland, Germany and New Zealand. 

In conclusion to my short story, I want to welcome my friends from India who are the latest individual members to be admitted into the IFSPT, and to also continue a cause I have taken upon myself to encourage other countries yet to take up membership to join the commitment of the dynamic team on the Executive Board in moving the practice of sports physiotherapy forward. I am looking ahead to the next congregation of IFSPT, and I do hope someday soon and not in the too distant future, we will have the pleasure of playing host in my home country, Nigeria.

The IFSPT Executive Board was gratified to receive so many comments from delegates relaying their interest to sponsor an IFSPT General Meeting and Symposium, or an IFSPT Symposium in their home country.

Because so many nations have expressed interest, the IFSPT board has developed a process for allowing member organizations to apply to sponsor these important events.

"The Executive Board developed a set of criteria for groups that wish to host a symposium," says Mario Bizzini, Board Member and Chair of the Scientific Congress Committee. "It was a simple step to do the same for General Meetings."

The Executive Board is accepting applications for symposia for 2014, with allocations for one in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the Southern Hemisphere. Member Organizations interested in hosting are encouraged to fill out the application form and return to Mario Bizzini by October 31, 2013.

The next General Meeting will be held in 2015, according to IFSPT by-laws. Member Organizations interested in hosting are encouraged to fill out the application form  and return to Mario Bizzini by November 30, 2013.



If you want to know about new moves in physiotherapy, put APA Conference 2013 'New Moves' Melbourne, 17-20 October into your diary.  


This much anticipated event will provide you with premium learning updates across 14 disciplinary areas in one location and on consecutive days.


Don't miss prominent Australian and international researchers and clinicians presenting the latest scientific research and developments, and clinical practice knowledge.


Plan your PD now by saving 17-20 October for APA Conference 2013 'New Moves'. 

Registration is now open. 

Visit the APA Conference website for details.


ACPSEM Sports Conference

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Oct 25-26, 2013
Save the Date!


SSPS 2013: Core Stability

Salzburg Sport Physiotherapy Symposium

November 8-9, 2013

The conference is organized by the University of Salzburg (Department of Sports Science and Kinesiology), Physio Austria (Sports Physiotherapy Group) and spt-education (Institute for Continuing Education Sports Physiotherapy), and will be held at Unipark Nonntal. 


As an additional event, the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy (IFSPT) will present its work and objectives.

The scientific programme features a range of internationally renowned speakers who will present their research on the conference's main topic, Core Stability. For the first time in the conference's history, a Young Researcher Award will be awarded to young scientists with particular research merits.

The concluding social event will take place in the pleasant environment of the Salzburg's old town, with fine food and good music.

For further information, link here!
Information sheet  


Sonafe 2013
Brazilian Sports PT Congress
Sao Paulo, Brazil
November 14-17, 2013


SportFisio 11th Annual Conference
Bern, Switzerland 
November 15, 2013
More information to come! 
Team Concept Conference 
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA will hold its annual Team Concept Conference on December 5-7, 2013, at the Green Valley Ranch Resort just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.


Registration is now open!


Attention Member Organizations:  

Are you sponsoring a physical therapy, sports physical therapy or sports medicine conference in 2013?  

Please send the information regarding your conference to Mary Wilkinson, IFSPT marketing director, for addition to the IFSPT newsletter and website! Newsletters are published every other month, so please submit your material as early as possible. You are also welcome to provide updates as your event draws closer!  

Following the IFSP General Meeting in Madrid 2010, it was agreed by the membership that specialist recognition could be achieved through a number of routes the preliminary registration board could consider. It was also agreed that the first of the tiered approaches to specialist recognition by IFSP would be to peer review applications from member countries with existing specialist pathways in Sports Physiotherapy.

Once a rigorous process for this system could be assured, the registration board would then be in a position to consider assessment of applications from individuals where member countries did not yet have a nationally-recognized specialist pathway.

The complete briefing paper prepared by the preliminary registration board may be accessed here.

The IFSPT Executive Board is pleased to announce that not only is official registration now available for approved IFSPT country members, the assessment process for those countries with no national specialist pathway will be open in early 2014.

"An IFSPT Registered Sports Physical Therapist receives not only his or her own nation's recognition as a certified sports physical therapist, he or she is internationally recognized as holding certification," according to Nicola Phillips, IFSPT President. "This peer review system does not give an individual license to practice in other nations, yet recognizes the individual's expertise in sports physical therapy on an international level, which accelerates the acceptance of his or her abilities in member countries and in international organizations.

Nicki continues, "This has been an important initiative for IFSPT for several years, and the Executive Board is pleased to be able to now offer Registration to qualified member organizations and individuals who have successfully completed these countries' specialist programs."

Individual members from Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States who are certified as sports physical therapists are eligible for immediate registration and IFSPT Registered Sports Physical Therapists. An application form is available on the IFSPT website. Cost to register is 50€ for two years, and only 20€ to renew for an additional two years.

More information will follow regarding the registration process in the next newsletter, including ways that member organizations with no formal sports physical therapy pathway can tap into IFSPT resources to establish such a program in their own country with experienced mentorship.

"I encourage all of our qualified individual members to register at their earliest convenience," Nicki states. "This is a true member benefit that one can use to one's advantage immediately."

Thank you to Nevin Ergun, Turkey, for providing the following photographs from the IFSPT conference in the United States this past December! Three of our Turkish members...Nevin, Volga Tunay, and Gul Baltaci...traveled to the US to support the IFSPT, and also attended the General Meeting and Symposia in South Africa. Nevin has been invited to join the IFSPT Board by the Executive Board and IFSPT delegates.

Nevin Ergun and Maria Constantinou, IFSPT Secretary, and the Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

On left, Nevin Ergun is shown with Mary Wilkinson, IFSPT Director of Marketing. On right, Mary is shown with SPTS member Heidi Edwards.
Barbara Sanders, PT, PhD, SCS, FAPTA
Turner A. Blackburn, PT, MEd, ATC
Brenda Boucher, PT, PhD, CHT, OCS, FAAOMPT

This clinical commentary is reprinted by the kind permission of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and SPTS.

The sports physical therapist (SPT) is uniquely qualified to participate in the provision of pre-participation physical examinations (PPE). The PPE is recommended prior to athletic participation and required by many jurisdictions. There is little research to support the process and components; however, a number of professional organizations have recommendations that direct the PPE process.

This clinical commentary highlights the role of the sports physical therapist and current evidence related to the preparticipation physical examination process. Data sources were limited to include professional positions and peer reviewed publications from 1988 through
January 2013.

Pre-participation physicals should be useful, comprehensive, and cost effective for the athlete and the health care team. Additional research is indicated in many of the areas of the PPE. The SPT is a valuable member of the health care team and can be a primary facilitator of the PPE in concert with the physician, athletic trainer, athletic organization administrators, and others.

Well-designed and inclusive PPEs can be provided to meet the major objectives of identification of athletes at risk. Controversy continues over the extent of the cardiac screening component as well as other sport or athlete specific components.

Sports physical therapy is a unique practice area that in 1973 was officially recognized as a Section (special interest group) by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) House of Delegates. A group of physical therapists identified a common body of knowledge related to the physical therapy care of the athlete as the impetus for this organization. The intent was to provide opportunities for education,
communication, and consultation in the broad practice area known as Sports Medicine. {read more}

The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is available as a member benefit to all IFSPT member organizations and individual members of those organizations. Organizations can choose to provide the journal as a member benefit, offer it as an optional benefit to members, or individual members can subscribe at a reduced rate. For individual subscriptions, simply follow this link to subscribe. For member organization subscriptions, please contact Mark De Carlo.  
No time to participate in conferences outside your clinic? No travel budget? No time for classroom study with family commitments?

The IFSPT has approved the SPTS Home Study Courses for credits toward International Sports Physical Therapy Registration...and IFSPT members receive a generous discount. Courses may be purchased and downloaded immediately...you can start learning right away.

Offered in a convenient downloadable format, each Home Study Course (HSC) consists of multiple chapters (monographs) along with a final examination. Chapters are approximately 15-30 pages in length and require 4 to 6 hours to complete. The final examination consists of approximately 5 questions from each chapter. To receive continuing education credit, HSC participants must complete the final examination and return the answer sheet to the SPTS home office via email or fax. A course certificate will be sent to the course participant upon successful completion of the final examination. Course participants must score 80% on the final examination in order to receive a course certificate. Five credit hours per chapter (monograph) are awarded upon successful completion...for example, a six chapter course receives thirty credit hours.

The SPTS Sports Certified Specialist Examination Preparatory Course

Editors: Robert C. Manske, PT, DPT, MEd, SCS, ATC, CSCS and Timothy Tyler, PT,  MS, ATC

Designed for preparation for the Sports Certified Specialist Examination in the United States, this fourteen-chapter course covers many areas the average clinician does not experience in daily practice 



Editor: Chuck Thigpen PT, PhD, ATC



Editors: Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD and Mitchell J. Rauh, PT, PhD, MPH, FACSM



Editors: Donna  L. Merkel, PT, MS, SCS, CSCSand Joe Molony, PT, MS, SCS, CSCS



Editor: Robert C. Manske, PT, DPT, MEd, SCS, ATC, CSCS



Editors: Lori Bolgla, PT, PhD, ATC and J. Craig Garrison, PT, PhD, SCS, ATC



Editor: Timothy Tyler, PT,  MS, ATC



Editor: Barb Hoogenboom PT, EdD, SCS, ATC



Editor: Mike Mullaney, PT



Editor: J. W. Matheson, PT



Editor: Teresa L. Schuemann, PT, SCS, ATC, CSCS



Editor: Danny D. Smith, PT, DHSc, SCS, OCS, ATC


Other courses are available. To learn more about these courses, follow this link to the SPTS website.
Now Available: The IFSPT Blog! 


Join us on our new IFSPT Blog! If you have experiences in sports physical therapy to share, we've established a blog page on our website. Lots of our members are working in some incredible areas - let's start sharing what we learn from these events.

Also, don't forget the IFSPT Facebook page!

This is your forum to connect with colleagues from around the world, so "like" our page and communicate!
Spend Some Quality Time With IFSPT... 
On Our Newly-Revamped Website!


Haven't checked out the IFSPT website lately? You should!

First of all, we've changed our address:  www.ifspt.org

Second, we've changed our site to be cleaner and easier to use.

Spend some time with us today!