Regular Screenings Keep on Top of Athletes’ Health

Nov 27, 2023 | News

Health care of South West Academy of Sport athletes is in good hands, thanks to an arrangement that sees the young athletes receive free heart screenings. The newly established Bunbury-based SouthWest Cardiovascular, Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Allison Morton screens SWAS athletes for potential heart disease to diagnose possible underlying conditions early. By doing so, she helps to mitigate risk and put athletes with a heart condition on the pathway to the best care and treatment.

“I screen all the athletes for evidence of heart disease,” Dr Morton said. “This includes an appointment with me and an ECG (electrocardiogram). Then, if indicated, further testing is arranged.
“It is important that everyone who trains at high levels is safe. Common conditions that can have significant consequences can be ruled out using simple tests.”

Ensuring access to services in the region fits with SWAS’ commitment to providing high level support close to home for teenage athletes who compete on the State, national and international stage.
This minimises costs associate with travel, evening the playing field between regional athletes in the South West and those living in the metropolitan area.

“It allows our South West athletes to be seen closer to home and avoid another trip to Perth,” Dr Morton said.

SWAS was the inaugural regional sports academy to be established in Western Australia and, over the past 16 years, academy athletes have gone on to compete at some of sport’s highest pinnacles including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

The academy supports development by delivering high performance programs in Australian Rules Football, cricket, hockey, netball, and rowing — as well as an individual athlete support program for junior sports stars excelling in a team or individual sport not covered by the academy.

SWAS’s philosophy is to set up athletes for long and rewarding careers in sport, with an emphasis on success during and outside playing and training commitments.
A holistic approach to talent development is taken, with program participants receiving access to sports services such as nutrition, physiology, and sports psychology.

Photograph: Dr. Allison Morton – Henderson Photographics