Springbok defence and exists coach Brendan Venter is the latest member of the national team’s coaching staff to receive his BokSmart certification after he completed his course on Wednesday in Pretoria.
The biennial BokSmart certification is compulsory for anybody who wants to coach or referee rugby in South Africa at any level. BokSmart provides coaches and referees with the knowledge and skills to apply safe rugby techniques and basic medical and injury prevention practices.
The three and a half hour course features everything from rugby safety related laws, concussion identification, treatment and management, technical preparation and safer contact techniques for scrums, tackles and the breakdown contest, and red flags to identify serious head, neck and spinal injuries.
Venter’s certification was handled by Hennie Janse van Vuuren, BokSmart coordinator in Pretoria.
“I really enjoyed the course. Being a professional rugby coach and a medical doctor you would think what more can I learn, but it was actually the contrary. I learned a lot on a topic such as concussion, for instance,” explained Venter, who is also a former Springbok midfielder.
“The training programme and content of the course have fantastic information on injury prevention, and we in South Africa are really blessed to have access to this type of knowledge. The BokSmart course will not only help limit injuries but also helps to limit the damage of injuries.”Venter urged coaches of all levels of rugby to get their BokSmart certification: “This is a very important initiative – player safety, no matter at which level of the game, is extremely important and BokSmart provides a lot of necessary knowledge for coaches at both professional and amateur level.”
SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, said it was great to see the eagerness and willingness with which the top professional coaches in South Africa supported the programme.
“Brendan and his Bok colleagues set a superb example for the many other coaches out there, especially with the spirit in which they approached the course. Nothing is more important than the on-field safety of our rugby players,” said Mr Alexander.