After a few incidents where young divers were suffering from joint inflammation and tendonitis, it became clear that a protection policy needed to be implemented.
In order to protect these potential Podium divers while their wrist growth plates are fusing, Kim White, High Performance Manager for British Diving, explains why it has become compulsory to wear wrist guards.
“All lottery funded Junior Development divers in the UK now wear DonJoy’s Wrist Wraps when diving from a height of over 7.5 meters. As a diver enters the water they can reach speeds of over 30mph. The pressure on young bones and joints from this is immense. The wrist guards substantially reduce the impact. Kim and his team of physiotherapists have implemented a programme of sensible injury management and prevention for our young British hopefuls. Protecting the wrists not only enables longer hours of training which in turn builds up muscle strength but also substantially reduces the risk of injury. This makes wrist guards a key part of the safety programme.”
Not everyone has been keen to immediately embrace this new safety initiative. However, as Kim points out, Tom Daley, currently set to make his debut in Beijing Olympics this summer, has proved that it is very possible to create a perfect rip wearing Wrist Wraps. Tom is destined to become world class performing his smooth entry into the water with the minimum of amount of splash.
Britain, along with America and Canada, are leading the way in this form of preventative management. Countries like China do realise the benefits of avoiding tendonitis, but currently are only wearing strapping for support.
Kim adds: “In my opinion, wearing wrist guards as a young athlete will also be an investment for the future. The more protection we offer the less likelihood they will need to continue to wear supports as adults.”
DJO wish all the divers the best of luck for the exciting challenges ahead.