Factors influencing the implementation of soccer injury prevention strategies in Rwanda
Interest and participation in soccer continue to grow in every part of the world. The increase in the number of people participating in soccer in Rwanda is also prominent. However, with the increase in the number of people participating in soccer there is an increase in the risk of injuries, thus making prevention of injury more important. The aim of the study was to identify the factors influencing the implementation of soccer injury prevention strategies in Rwanda. This study use cross-sectional descriptive quantitative research design. The study was conducted in all 12 first division male soccer teams registered in The Fédération Rwandaise de Football Association (FERWAFA) for the 2007-2008 soccer seasons. FERWAFA requires all first division teams to register a minimum of 30 players per team. Questionnaires were administered to 313 players and collected by the researcher or research assistants. Descriptive statistics were conducted to obtain a profile of the study sample and results were presented using tables and figures. The results showed that soccer players, coaches and team leaders were generally aware of the occurrence of injuries, their causes, risk factors and prevention. Injury prevention strategies such as the use of protective devices, water intake and carbohydrate consumption were performed more in competition than in training while cool down and stretching activities were more regularly performed in training than in competition. In conclusion there is a need to educate players about injury prevention and to overcome all identified barriers that render the implementation difficult or impossible. There is a need to support teams to develop meaningful and relevant policies.
Keywords: Injury prevention, coaches, soccer players, risk factors.