Teams’ doctor trio lead sporting field
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.