Internship: Prevention of hockey related injuries in youth

Field hockey is a fun sport to keep physically active and enjoy the health benefits of exercise. Participating in hockey, however, also entails a risk of injury. Besides the high burden these injuries pose to public health, through associated costs, negative associations could make a child lose enthusiasm for participating in sports. Luckily, scientific knowledge has shown that it is possible to prevent sports injury with warming- up exercises.

Creating a safe sport environment is important for the Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB), in partnership with the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute (VeiligheidNL) and Interpolis, created the Hockey Warming-up program. The program includes standardised exercises aiming at preventing hockey related injuries. The Hockey Warming-up program may protect the hockey players’ health and result in a safe sport environment for youth.

Research question

What is the effectiveness of the Warming-up program on preventing hockey related injuries in children aged 10 – 17 years?

Research design and methods

This prospective cohort study will be conducted during the 2016-2017 Dutch hockey season. It will be a so-called “natural experiment”, which means that the study will be performed alongside the implementation of the warming-up program in Dutch hockey clubs. The control clubs will be asked to continue their usual practice during the course of the study.

Data that will be collected are

  • baseline questions on the youth hockey players (completed by parents through an online form);

  • weekly hockey participation of all players (registered by coaches through an electronic spreadsheet);

  • when a player gets injured, the details of the hockey related injury (registered by parents through an online form or phone contact);

  • coaches will be contacted at the end of the hockey season to ask them about their experiences with the Hockey Warming-up program.

Working/learning opportunities

  • Collecting prospective data (online and by phone)

  • Data management (data gathering and input in the study database)

  • Interpreting data and reporting results

Expected result

A brief report in English

Time schedule*

Period 1: September-December 2016
September: reading and meeting participant teams
October – November: collecting data online and storing data in the database November – December: analysing data and reporting data

Period 2: January-April 2017
January: reading and meeting participant teams
February – March: collecting data online and storing data in the database March – April: analysing data and reporting data

*Expected weekly dedication can be agreed upon. It is also possible to attend both periods of the internship.

Competences needed

  • Basic level of computer usage

  • Proficiency in English and Dutch

Where will the internship take place

VU University Medical Center Amsterdam. A room with other trainees is available.

Further information

The intern will be able to participate in the meetings of the Department of Public and Occupational Health (once every 2 weeks) and ACHSS (monthly). 

For nay further information you may contact Joske Nauta (j.nauta@vumc.nl)