Teams’ doc­tor trio lead sport­ing field

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

THE next time you watch your na­tional team take on the world’s best, there’s a good chance the doc­tors keep­ing our star ath­letes in top con­di­tion are from Townsville.

This is be­cause by co­in­ci­dence doc­tors tend­ing to the Aus­tralian Boomers, Opals and Kan­ga­roos teams all prac­tise from of­fices in North Ward.

Bren­don Aubrey is the team doc­tor for the Aus­tralian men’s bas­ket­ball team. Si­mone Page is the head doc­tor for the Aus­tralian women’s bas­ket­ball team and Chris Ball is the med­i­cal of­fi­cer for the Aus­tralian men’s rugby league side.

Apart from hav­ing known one an­other from an early age play­ing sport and study­ing at James Cook Univer­sity in Townsville, the fact the brains be­hind much of Aus­tralia’s sports medicine all work out of the same of­fices just hap­pened that way.

“We’ve known each other since high school,” Dr Page said. “I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in sport. I wanted to in­cor­po­rate that in my work.”

Townsville’s in­volve­ment in na­tional sport with the launch of the for­mer Suns na­tional bas­ket­ball team in the early ’ 90s and then the Cow­boys, North Queens­land Fury and Townsville Fire opened op­por­tu­ni­ties they oth­er­wise might not have had.

“Be­ing in a re­gional cen­tre and work­ing with na­tional teams gives you the op­por­tu­nity to get ex­pe­ri­ence early in your ca­reer,” Dr Page said.

Dr Aubrey said liv­ing in Townsville did not nec­es­sar­ily pre­clude them from this kind of work be­cause na­tional ath­letes trav­elled from across the coun­try any­way when it came time to go­ing into camp for in­ter­na­tional events.

But it has al­lowed them to travel ex­ten­sively.

Dr Aubrey will be with the Boomers in Le­banon next week for the Asia Cup and in China, Chi­nese Taipei and The Philip­pines later this year, Dr Page has been in the US, Europe and Ja­pan many times and last year was in Brazil for the Rio Olympics.

Dr Ball, who is also the med­i­cal of­fi­cer with the Cow­boys, trav­elled with the Kan­ga­roos last year to Europe.

“It’s fun. You see the world and get to see amaz­ing tal­ent,” Dr Page said.

Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Troy Popham said the three doc­tors achieve­ments were out­stand­ing.

“We have a lot of tal­ent lo­cally who are do­ing re­ally good work on the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional stage,” Mr Popham said.

He said the doc­tors prob­a­bly made sac­ri­fices to their work here to un­der­take their roles.

“Their roles are as im­por­tant, if not more im­por­tant, than the ath­letes,” Mr Popham said.

HAV­ING BALL: Townsville sports medi­cos Chris Ball, Si­mone Page and Bren­don Aubrey are team doc­tors for the Kan­ga­roos, Opals and the Boomers.

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