What is your proudest moment as a team doctor?
I was fortunate enough to be the team doctor for the Australian Water Polo teams. After 2 years of travel to all sorts of destinations, I remember standing for the national anthems at the first match of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. We were playing Brazil, and their crowd was hostile and very vocal. It was such an amazing experience to soak it all in whilst thinking of all the hard work put in by the players, coaches and staff to get to that moment.
What lead you to choosing the specialty of sports medicine?
I have always been obsessed with sport, and have tried my hand at just about everything. Unfortunately I was never good enough to compete at the highest level, but I remember seeing the team doctor for Western Province rugby team run on the field on a full Newlands and thinking how good that would be! Plus I have also had a few experiences with injury myself, and have always been fascinated with how one can use exercise to overcome pretty much any pain.
If you hadn’t become a sports physician, what other profession would you have liked to pursue?
I can’t really imagine being outside of the medical profession, and I considered emergency medicine or internal medicine as alternative career options. If I wasn’t a doctor I would have loved to be a professional golfer! If only there was a professional tour for mid-handicappers…
What is your own sporting background?
As mentioned previously, I have tried pretty much every sport with varying degrees of success. This has included rugby, hockey, tennis, golf, running, cycling, squash, cricket, surfing, surf-ski paddling, mountain-biking, snowboarding and yoga. I’m also an avid armchair sporting enthusiast, and can easily spend hours watching a good 5-day test match.
What is your greatest sporting achievement?
Probably finishing my first 100km bike race in Cape Town without dying.
What’s been your worst sports injury?
I have fortunately not had any serious injuries, but a few minor injuries including a fractured wrist, stress fractures and ligament sprains.
Which sporting legend would you most like to invite to dinner?
Kelly Slater – he’s someone I remember idolising as a kid, and 26 years later he is still competitive. I would love to find out how he looks after himself; how he keeps himself motivated all the time; and to hear about some of his experiences around the world. Maybe I could score an invite to his surf ranch!