Australia’s first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence opened

The Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre (OPSMC) has been officially inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence by FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak.

The Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre (OPSMC) has been officially inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence by FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak, at an official ceremony held in Melbourne today.

OPSMC is the first Australian Sports Medicine Centre to receive such an honour and joins a prestigious list of 32 Medical Centres and Clinics worldwide who have also been accredited to this high standard.

Speaking at today-s official inauguration Ceremony, Prof Dvorak was very complimentary of the work that the OPSMC is doing and the reputation that Australian Sports and Exercise Medicine professionals amongst the international Sports Medicine community.

“I am very happy to be in Melbourne for the first accredited FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in Australia. This is a very well established and respected medical institution”, said Prof Dvorak.

“The aim of the worldwide network of FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence is to improve the healthcare of football players and other athletes at every single level of the game through knowledge.

“However the most important objective of the FIFA Medical network including the FIFA Medical Centers of Excellence is to promote the philosophy of prevention and use the power of football to contribute to the improvement of public health to tackle the "Unhealthy trias - fast food, soft drinks and physical inactivita" leading to overweight, diabetes and other NCD's in young adolescents concluded Prof Dvorak.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) director and former Socceroo goalkeeper who represented Australia at the 1974 FIFA World Cup Jack Reilly, who led the official ceremony, said the inauguration was a significant step for Australian football.

“Australia has a strong knowledge base in sports science and I welcome FIFA-s recognition of the Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre,” said Reilly. “The development will help Australian football stay at the leading edge of FIFA-s global network of medical expertise.”

OPSMC Director Dr Andrew Jowett was proud to have the OPSMC receive accreditation as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence and thanked the many practitioners who over the years have helped the OPSMC achieve this status

“The honour of being accredited as Australia's first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence is both recognition of the practitioners who make OPSMC a leading multidisciplinary sports medicine centre and a challenge to contribute to the wider football community in education, training, research and quality care.

“We look forward to working with our partners, FFA and the University of Melbourne in achieving these goals. We are excited to further engage our regional neighbours in Asia and Oceania, as well as the wider FIFA network.

“Melbourne holds a proud reputation in the sporting world and OPSMC has been involved in football since our formation 25 years ago including the past 2 FIFA World Cup campaigns, the 2008 Homeless World Cup and the 2000 Olympic Games. Our 3 campuses in Melbourne provide a unique opportunity due to the co-existence of 4 major football codes to share knowledge, experience and improve the care of all footballers through injury prevention, specialist management and rehabilitation." concluded Dr Jowett.

FFA Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeff Steinweg also congratulated the OPSMC for receiving such recognition from FIFA.

“This is a welcome acknowledgement that Australia, through the OPSMC, has world standard medical care for all football players, including medical screening, imaging and management of injury.

“Through OPSMC and to the benefit of all players, Australia is now a more integral part of FIFA-s worldwide collaboration and cooperation on football health issues and research,” concluded Dr Steinweg.

Since opening their doors in 1987, the OPSMC has become an internationally renowned clinic that has provided medical care to all levels of sports people from the ranks of amateur athletes to Olympic Champions. OPSMC has around 70 experts associated from sports physicians, physiotherapy, clinical pilates, podiatry, soft tissue therapy, sports psychology, nutrition, exercise physiology, sports cardiology, and orthopaedic (surgical) services.