I. European Sport Medicine Congress (I.ECHM)

Hotel DoubleTree by Hilton, Bratislava, June 2014

BRATISLAVA (Slovak IHF) – 1st. European Congress of Hockey Medicine was held in Bratislava on 5th-7th June 2014, under the patronage of the Slovak IHF and with the support of the IIHF. The congress offered many inspiring lectures for all medical experts from the hockey field,“stated Igor Nemeček, President of the Slovak IHF. During 3 days, more than 200 participants attended 69 lectures of experts from 11 countries. Besides Canadian Mark Aubry, also Swiss Beat Williger, Finn Markk Tuominen or Turkish prof. Heubeily.
Mark Aubry didn’t consider his attendance at this congress for a minute. „My relation towards the Slovak ice hockey is very positive, so there was no reason to refuse this invitation.“ said Mark Aubry, who was awarded Paul Loicq Award after the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk.

Main topics of the first congress day were functional diagnosis and genetic testing of young players and also still very actual concussion issue.
Specialties of this congress were live workshops, during which Mark Aubry made a demonstration on how to transport an injured player off the ice. „ I am very glad, that lecturers didn‘t have a problem to show us their know-how in this new field, either from among the physicians or from among the representatives of physiotherapists, coaches, referees and masseurs. I was honestly surprised, as far as this was a pilot medical congress, very specifically focused and diverse. Effort to create a friendly atmosphere was a good starting point and intention.“ said the head of the congress Andrea Švrčková.

„This is very frequent and at the same time very logical question I am being asked. Ice hockey is very dynamic and its development is fast. Players are bigger, faster and especially harder nowadays. Player’s head is exposed to the danger of mutual players’ collisions. In the past, hockey players were slower and played more technically. Some of them didn’t even wear helmets. Paradoxically, at that time, hockey was much safer than now, when players are dressed as knights. Today we are facing many collisions and checkings to the head in ice hockey. Even though the checking to the head is being penalized very strictly according to rules, you cannot avoid them. Players pretend to understand it, but it is not how it looks like. The opponent is attacked in the head pretty hard.“ commented Mark Aubry, MD, Dip.SportMed. (CASM), Chief Medical Officer of the IIHF Medical Committee, Team physician of Ottawa Senators and Director of the Ottawa Sport Medicine Centre.

In next two days, lectures for physiotherapists had a very successful response arising into heated debates about current nutrition trends and food supplements. Discussion was also made about legislative topics and disciplinary penalties of conflict situations on the ice. One of the main ideas of the congress was to familiarize participants with the necessity of prompt and correct intervention in case of acute threats to life right on the ice also in the connection with the use of defibrillator,“ continued the Chairwoman of the Slovak IHF Medical Committee Andrea Švrčková, MD, MHA.

How did you like the ice hockey congress? „It has been organized at the top level, but I knew it would be like this. Slovaks I know have a great passion for ice hockey and I was sure it would be excellent. Conditions, but also experts, who lectured at the conference, do understand ice hockey. I am very grateful, that I have received invitation to such an event. I suppose, that everyone who participated in the congress, left it with plenty of new information and knowledge.“ commended Mark Aubry on the organizers.

„The course of the congress and the scale of concentration of ice hockey experts in one place, is a confirmation that it is necessary to talk about these issues and that the idea to organize this congress was a correct decision. We have excellent physicians and experts in our hockey clubs and we also have information about global development in this field. If we wish to belong to elite categories, we cannot ignore hockey medicine, which is an integral part of hockey team preparation. Therefore I believe that this medical congress will have its tradition and although it was organized for the first time, it must not be the last.” added Chief Medical Officer of the Slovak IHF, Andrea Švrčková.

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