CHENNAI: The sports ministry took another important step towards realising the country’s sporting potential by launching a first-of-its-kind injury management system in India. Dubbed CAIMS, the Centralised Athlete Injury Management System, the project is much needed as it charts a better path for athletes during their rehabilitation process while recovering from injuries. It also aims to prevent injuries from happening, a system that’s already in place in some of the leading sporting nations across the world. It will first be rolled out to athletes who are part of the developmental group for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
This programme, Kiren Rijiju hoped, would fast-track India’s ascent in the world of sports science, an important discipline in the 21st century. “We want to be a sporting powerhouse,” he said while launching the programme in an online function organised by the sports ministry. “And to have a world-class injury management is an integral part of that. We need an excellent and professional injury management of the athletes.
“I hope this initiative will lead to a system where we will have a professional way of managing injuries of athletes. It is something long desired by one and all. This is a centralised platform where we will have a common and uniform injury and rehabilitation management system. “I have seen athletes whose careers have been damaged or shortened due to lack of timely and proper treatment of even common injuries. For some injuries, treatment is not available in our country and athletes will have to go abroad. This is just the beginning to address that,” the sports minister added.
There’s more than a grain of truth in that assessment. Even recently, some of India’s elite athletes (Mirabai Chanu for example) were forced to miss months of training and competitions after being laid low by seemingly innocuous injuries. CAIMS, the minister hopes, will provide better diagnostic tools to nip the problem in the bud rather than letting it develop. How? Athletes coming under the system will be exposed to world-class medical care, with an online record of type of injury, diagnosis, prognosis available. Some of the doctors who will be available are Anant Joshi and Dinshaw Pardiwala, both of whom were present at the launch.
The Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) chief, Narinder Batra, who was also present, made the point that CAIMS could lead to better communication between the athletes and the doctors. “A lack of communication between athletes and medical providers results in injuries. It could affect their careers.”
The one major potential problem with such a system could be a lack of confidentiality, but Batra sought to assuage those fears. “I would like to emphasise the confidentiality of the injury of the athletes should be maintained and should never be made public.”