By Star Physio Tara West.

Greetings from Vietnam!

I  am currently travelling with the Australian Women’s Volleyball team (as their team physio) while they compete in the 2013 VTV Cup, held in Pleiku, Vietnam.

Pleiku is a small town located in the Gia Lai province, a mountainous region about 400km North of Ho Chi Minh City.

I have competed in a number of tournaments in Vietnam with the national team, however I have never visited this part of the country before. Pleiku is not at all what I was expecting- I arrived expecting hot, muggy conditions and was pleasantly surprised to step of the plane to a sunny, blue sky and a light, cool breeze! Being in the highland, the climate is much cooler than Ho Chi Minh (which has been averaging 36 degrees with high humidity)!

I have been keeping myself very busy, with back-to-back treatments for all of the athletes (and the coaching staff too!).

The most common problem areas for volleyball players are shoulders (from spiking) and knees (from jumping), so I have been spending a lot of time working on these body parts! I have also been running daily recovery sessions for the athletes, focusing on stretching, “foam-rolling”, and rehab exercises. And on top of all the “physio-ing”, I have also dusted off the old volleyball shoes and joined in for a bit of scrimmaging during trainings!

So far the team has played three tough matches and unfortunately has not been able to come away with a win thus far.

Despite this, I can’t help but feel excited about the future of the Aussie Women’s team. The quality of play is impressive, and there has been a big improvement from previous years. It is very clear that the hard work is paying off! Exciting times ahead!

Tomorrow is the tournament “rest day”, and the organisers have arranged for us to see the local attractions. We will recommence play on Saturday.

I’d like to finish by saying a big congratulations to WA’s own Jennifer Day, for reaching her 50th game milestone with the Australian Women’s team. A great achievement!

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Thanks for all of your support!