fIcs Chiropractors comMitted to levelLing the plAying fielD
The excitement, tension and drama of live sport is unrivalled and brings millions of fans together each and every day. But when athletes are equally matched, uninhibited by injury, the quality of the spectacle becomes even more exhilarating. It is the mission of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS) to do their bit to keep sport competitive by offering free treatments to federations and countries in need.
Many nations competing in events now have a requirement that a chiropractor travel with each team for sporting events, but this creates a major disadvantage for those nations unable to fund the role. FICS works with events organisers so that every athlete has the opportunity to have chiropractic care.
“Athlete centred care is fundamental to our mission, FICS President Pete Garbutt said. “Quite often chiropractic care is a matter of tuning the body and removing any limitations that training and competing might have created along the way. This is a natural improvement and gives athletes the best chance to succeed because we are creating the level play field they deserve.”
FICS was first formed in the 1980’s when a group of chiropractors gathered through a shared love of sport and a desire to support smaller nations and federations. Its vision is to offer specialist services to all athletes, not just those that can afford it. Since its official formation in 1985, FICS has gone on to become a GAISF Associate Member, playing a key role in supporting athletes at the world’s biggest events, including the Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the World Games.
The federation now presides over 24 member nations and has almost 2,000 chiropractors registered and willing to travel the world in support of athletes. It is not a paid position; each individual takes part in their own time and at their own cost, however this hasn’t stopped the federation growing.
“After participating in events, a lot of our doctors make the decision to repeat the experience,” said Brian Nook, Executive Board Member and World Games Liaison. “The benefits, though not financial, far outweigh the cost of travel. The enjoyment that comes out of it, as well as the comradery of being part of the team, cannot be understated.”
“We all love sport, and we all love helping people,” added Martin Camera, representative for the Sports Council of Asia. “We are often able to diagnose problems before they become full-blown injuries, and to make such an important difference to the athletes’ ability to compete is very exciting for us.”
Garbutt believes that the role GAISF continues to play in the growth of FICS has been invaluable to the organisation.
“GAISF gives us an opportunity to meet federations we weren’t previously in contact with, navigate the sporting landscape and increase our exposure to different sports and events,” he said. “We are really grateful to GAISF for their expert advice and support.”
As well as attending events for practical support, FICS is active in education programmes, both online and in person, ensuring that every chiropractor associated with FICS has gone through rigorous training to maintain a high standard of service and an assurance for partnering federations.
The selflessness and commitment to help a team are attributes that are fundamental in sport, and FICS embodies these traits. Their goal has never changed: to ensure every team has an equal opportunity to succeed.
“Every time a chiropractor travels to an event, we go on a journey with the team, Simon Lawson, Chair of the International Federations Commission said. “As the competition progresses, we become more invested and that adds to the excitement of our job. That feeling is the most rewarding.”