Royal Football Club Wetteren Youth Project focuses on heart screening and injury prevention

RFC Wetteren Youth introduces a heart screening to avoid sudden death during exercise. From the age of U12, players can visit cardiologist and club doctor Dries Viaene for a screening. Sudden death occurs in 1 to 2 in 100,000 athletes younger than 35 years, often caused by a congenital or hereditary heart defect which can be detected efficiently. The European Society of Cardiology and the Flemish SKA (Sport- en Keuringsartsen) therefore recommend that every young person who participates in competitive sport is screened from the age of 12.

Furthermore in the medical monitoring process, physiotherapist Gert Droessaert performs injury prevention screenings on the youth players to minimize the risk on injuries. This dedicated testing is part of a broad approach and focuses on overuse injuries in young football players. A too high or too intense sports training schedule can lead to overuse injuries and consequently a period of inactivity. By targeting flexibility, strength, speed and endurance in testing and training, players have fewer injuries and are more likely to reach their full potential.

Additionally, growth and maturity are monitored, so the supervisors can follow up on the physical development of each player and know when to take it easy. Based on the measurements a length prediction is calculated, giving an indication on the expected body height of each player, which is an important parameter to take into account in training.

The SpartaNova platform supports the aforementioned screening types with centralized, consistent and evidence-based measurements and data collection. The platform also enables  close cooperation between trainers and (para) medical staff, and offers the possibility to quickly intervene in case of complaints of any kind.