Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Last Day

To start the morning we made our way to the Melbourne cricket grounds for a tour of their facilities. The MCG hosts a variety of events like AFL, cricket, soccer, concerts, weddings, etc. In fact next Thursday they will be hosting Argentina and Brazil soccer teams. To be a member there is a fee of $740 a year. Cricket grounds all over the world have certain color blazers to represent their facilities.

For the first part of the tour we went through the stadium. The stadium holds 120,024 people, however our tour guide said people figured out if you stood up more people would fit; so the max crowd has been 130,000 for Billy Graham (American preacher). Because of being in the Southern Hemisphere, there are parts of the stadium that don't receive sunlight during the winter so they have artificial sunlight to help the grass grow. Interesting enough; the first cricket game ever played was against Canada and US in 1844 at the St George's Cricket Club in New York . In 1956 it was used during the Olympics for athletics(track and field). Even though we got to go out on the grass a little, to get onto the actual game field is a $9,000 fine. More than in Sydney when it was $5,000.

After touring many stadiums, we've noticed it is normal to see a sign in the team rooms that prohibit the use of cell phones so there is no chance of gambling and keep the players focused. It is common for AFL  and Cricket fields to be different lengths bc there is no national standard of how small or large they must be. In the ice bath room they have 2 customizable ice baths that can fit about 15 people combined between the 2. There is a road that goes around the whole stadium underground designed to keep the work unseen and for the teams to get into the locker rooms without being seen. From the Olympics they have on floors the longest high jumps. The first international cricket match in Australia was on New Year's Day in 1862.

 Throughout history, both the US Army and Marines came to the MCG to train for various little battles in the early 1900's. With the frequency of our military over here the Australian military began to see that the Americans were taking their women so apparently there was a brawl. The US then hosted a BBQ and the bond between the two forces have since grown. During the time of most artwork done in the grounds; the US military was in Australia so it is common to see the US flag scattered throughout the art. They actually have a remembrance for 9/11 because one the tapestries was in the process of being done when it happened.

For the second part of the tour we got to go into the National Sport Museum. It has an interactive part called 'Game On' similar to when we went to the AIS. They had a bunch of interactive games like netball, soccer, rugby, cycling, handball, archery, etc. We then continued onto the memorabilia part. There was a section discussing the international success of their Paralympic  teams, also highlighting the 1956 Olympics held here and much more. There is a taxidermy race horse and some equipment that you can try on from various sports.

After the tour some people went to an Italian restaurant on a cute little alley way for lunch and others got a sushi. Tonight is the first night of The Night Market; which consists of food vendors and other little vendors in aim to get the Melbourne residents out in the winter.

Tonight is our last night and as some get on the plane to go to home, a couple will be flying to New Zealand and a couple to The Great Barrier Reef. All flights are pretty early in the morning so some have plans of staying up to sleep on the plane.

As I am the last blogger, I think myself and everyone on this trip can agree that it has been a life changing experience and could not thank Leanna and Lisa enough for this opportunity. Also on behalf of everyone, thank you all who have taken the interest in following us through this journey! 


June 6

Hey again world wide web!
     Today after brekky (breakfast) some of the gang caught some sleep before our planned activities for the day, and the others started off the day by heading to the Queen Victoria Market yet again! It’s interesting to note the similarities in Australian market culture and American market culture. For instance, some stands sold items that were made in China. In both the US and Aus, I would say that aboriginal/native American crafts might be one of the few things that qualify as unique products to the country. Just like most American cuisine is influenced from other parts of the world, so too is the Australian cuisine heavily influenced from other countries. It was really interesting to see how many stands sold a variety of US pro sport jerseys. We saw NFL, NBA, and NHL jerseys being sold (at really low prices).
     After the market, we journeyed back yet again to the University of Melbourne for a tour and presentation given by Rod Warnecke, who is the Sport Development Manager. This was a more sports management oriented tour. We toured their fitness and aquatic center, which fall short in comparison to athletic facilities in the US. It was originally built as a warm up/training facility for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. It was so strange to see how small their “elite performance” (=D1 athletes) weight room was. Aside from the fact that they only had one weight room for all the sports, it was much smaller that the weight room that was open to students and public. Whereas in the US, it is common that college athletes have state of the art training facilities, and the school opens a dinky little gym for students and the public (i.e. Xavier University).
     The most notable difference in the 2 sports culture of Aus and the US, is the difference in university sport. They don’t have NCAA D1-D3 levels of play. They don’t have full ride scholarships available. They don’t have a vast amount of coaches, trainers, dietitians, and other staff for every sport. They only have 5 total facilities that they use for sports. The emphasis is on community based sport, rather than intercollegiate sport. Each college has community level programs that can be made up of alumni, friends of alumni, and even locals. Each team may be based on levels of play. Whereas in the US, most community sport is organized through the city governments, and private facilities. It is not a dream for every athlete in Australia to play college sports. In Aus it just so happens that you can play a sport while getting a good education. Whereas in the US, we all know that high level D1 athletes usually aren’t at the top of their class. Scholarships are given partially to single athletes that the school wishes to sponsor. The best athletes can earn up to 5,000 dollars cash a year to help pay for equipment, travel costs, and school. While successful Olympic and pro athletes have come out of university programs in Aus, it is not common. Most pro athletes come from U18 travel and semi pro teams.
     Rod also talked to us about the University of Melbourne as a whole. It was founded in 1853, and now has 48,000 students. They are a member of the Go8 conference, or the Group of 8, which is made up of 8 other universities in Australia. U of Melbourne continually ranks as the #1 college in Australia. Tuition is about $10,000-12,000, plus about another $20,000 for room and board. So in total it could be about 30,000 dollars a year to go to the #1 ranked school in Australia.
     After the presentation, Rod took us outside to teach us the fundamentals of footy (AFL)! We had a fun time trying to get the hang of proper kicking and handballing. It’s not nearly as easy as the pros made it look!
     After our time at University of Melbourne, we came back to the hostel to get ready for our last group dinner. We went to a restaurant called Berth, which was a beautiful restaurant right on the bay. We all enjoyed our fine dining there, as well as the comedic nature of our waiter. He sure enjoyed chatting it up with the Americans.

Another successful day here in Melbourne!

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5

June 5, 2017 

Hello followers! We started this morning like every other morning with a hot breakfast at the hostel. We then had a few hours before our first planned group activity. Some went to a coffee shop close by where they enjoyed specialty coffee drinks and bakery items. A few others went to a souvenir shop to get some gifts for their loved ones (stayed tuned for your gift). At 11 we all met in the lobby to head out for our first lecture of the day. 

We walked to the University of Melbourne where we spent most of the day. Our first lecture was about Knee Osteoarthritis and Walking Canes by Julia Hart who is studying medicine at the University of Melbourne. She presented on her research on the use of walking canes with patients who have knee osteoarthritis. The first part of her research was surveying the patients to compare those who have used a cane before and those who have not. She found that factors contributing to capability and motivation were the leading reasons a patients used or did not use a cane.  The second part of her research was the facilitation of the walking cane. The patients would be sent a cane after a phone interview. They would spend seven days at home using the walking cane. They would then come into the lab where they would be observed walking. After walking a set distance with the cane, they were then given a 10 minute physiotherapy session on how to use the cane. To put it simply, the study found that it is beneficial to have a walking cane training session, the target audience is those with knee pain for longer than three years, and most people do not know what height to hold the cane. 

Dr. Jos Runhaar from the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands also presented on knee osteoarthritis, in particular the prevention of knee OA. He research was a PROOF study, which is the prevention of OA in overweight females. 407 women were randomized which was a 46% inclusion rate. Only 10% of the women dropped out after 2.5 years. The women were split into two groups. One of which was prescribed diet and exercise, where the control group was given glucosamine phosphate. This allowed all women to receive a controlled intervention without knowing which group was the control group. The study was able to be conducted over 6.5 years. Measures were taken after 2.5 yearly s then again 6.5 years later. His results were not statistically significant but suggested that the group that was compliant with the protocol was less likely to develop knee OA. Overall, he concluded that there were significant effects of 5% weight loss in relation to developing OA. 

We then had a short break to grab a bite to eat before our tour of the University of Melbourne Centre Health, Exercise, & Sports Medicine (CHESM) and a couple presentations on sports medicine in Australia and femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). The first presenter walked us through who an athlete would see during the course of his/her injury. At the initial injury the athlete would see a sports physician or physio. Sports physicians are usually employed through elite sporting clubs or private hospitals; few are employed through public hospitals. The athlete is then referred to an orthopedic surgeon. After surgery the athlete would see a sports physiotherapist (physio). Most elite sporting clubs have their own physio (or multiple). Further along down the road, the athlete would see an exercise or sports scientist. A physiotherapist does more diagnosis and manipulative therapies. An exercise physiologist focuses more on the whole process of rehabilitation rather than the acute injury. The next presenter talked about her research called Full Randomized Controlled Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for Hip Impingement versus best conventional care or FASHIoN. After our presentations we casually talked with the presenters about the differences between the American health care system and the Australian health care system. 

After our very educational day at CHESM we were on our own for a free afternoon/night. Some people went back to the hostel and ordered pizza. The others ventured around Melbourne and found some dinner as well. 

Hopefully I didn't bore you with all the research talk! Today was right up our alley as future Athletic Trainers. I can't believe we are heading home in a couple days. The time has been flying by! 




Our fourth day in Melbourne began with a couple hours of much needed down time. A few slept in after breakfast and some of us headed back to the market for further exploration and souvenir shopping. After our break, we all met up with our Go West tour guide Leah to leave for our Phillips head island adventure. 
We began our tour at Brighton Beach not too far from the hostel. Brighton Beach is famous for its collection of brightly colored beach boxes, (try saying that three times fast!) The beach boxes were originally used in the 1860’s for change rooms. Since it wasn’t yet socially acceptable for women to just walk around in their bathing suits, they would walk to these boxes in their clothes, change, go for a swim, change, and go about their day. Once these boxes lost their use, they began to deteriorate until Brighton Beach gathered them up in the 1920’s. The boxes were moved to one spot along the beach and painted, which quickly became a tourist attraction. The boxes are individually owned, painted, and used by locals as beach storage. Like most beach properties, ownership of the boxes is quite pricey. Recently, one of these beach boxes was sold for $500,000 Australian dollars!
Our next stop on the tour was another animal sanctuary, where we were able to pet and feed baby kangaroos and wallabies. The park was also home to other animals such as birds, geese, wombats, snakes, and koala bears. 
Our last stop and highlight of the tour was Phillip Island, where we were able to see the penguin parade. Before it became famous for its habitation of little penguins, Phillip Island was discovered by George Bass, one of the first British men to sail unto Western Port. Originally, the penguins were not protected because no one knew they were there! Later in the 1950’s, after they gathered attention, the little penguin burrow habitat was made a protected nature reserve in order to save their homes. It soon became an actual park to watch the penguins come in from the ocean at night while still protecting their habitat. The little penguins are blue and white for camouflage and make their nests underground in burrows. They leave in the morning when the sun rises to eat fish and come back at sunset in huge packs called parades. This is to protect themselves from their predators-foxes and snakes. We were able to sit right at the edge of the water and watch them glide onto the beach in the waves. They came in groups of 2 to 12 and would waddle at amazing speeds up to the rocks. While sitting and watching for penguins, we saw a wallaby running through the waters edge, and all of a sudden it came right at us. Emily actually had to donge out of the way in order to avoid being jumped on! It flew right through the crowd, and the park ranger said he'd never seen anything like that happen before, so apparently we were in the right place at the right time. 
Overall it was a fabulous day and we witnessed some pretty cool stuff. Three more days to go!