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Improving Global Sports Performance

When Donovan Bailey of Canada won the men’s 100 m gold medal in world-record time at the Atlanta Olympic Games, as long ago as 1996, he thanked his chiropractor in the immediate post-race interviews – explaining that he couldn’t have won without his chiropractic treatment during training and competition.

Today Bailey’s successor Usain Bolt and many other elite athletes also rely upon sports chiropractic care to improve performance and for the prevention and management of injury – naturally and avoiding unnecessary reliance upon medications, injections and surgery.

However, even though an increasing number of teams and major games events up to and including the Olympic and Paralympic Games have introduced chiropractic services, most athletes still do not have access to these services when they want and need them.

Responding to the Challenge. The challenge has been that the specialty of sports chiropractic is relatively new and under-developed. With few exceptions worldwide there has been no external funding to support postgraduate education, research, and the provision of voluntary sports chiropractic services from the community level to major games events. Sports chiropractic has had to build itself. FICS, and now its FICS Foundation, have welcomed the challenge. and steps taken include:

  • Formation. Formation in 1987 of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS – www.fics-sport.org) to promote the development of national chiropractic sports councils (NCSCs) and provide an international body to coordinate the development of a mature sports chiropractic specialty.
  • Recognition and authority. Between then and now establishing FICS as the one, respected, international representative of sports chiropractic, with all NCSCs worldwide in its membership.
  • Education. Through the FICS Education Commission and academic partners, offering the postgraduate ICCSP sports chiropractic certification, now held by sports chiropractors in over 30 countries.
  • Research. Through the FICS Research Commission and FICS original research symposia, generating important research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. With respect to improved performance, a study reporting that chiropractic cervical spine manipulation to correct asymptomatic joint dysfunction and its neurological effects in elite judokas increases ranges of joint motion and grip strength. Botelho MB and Andrade BB (2011) Effect of Cervical Spine Manipulative Therapy on Judo Athletes’ Grip Strength. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 35:38-44.)
  • Voluntary service. Through the FICS Games and International Federations Commissions, organizing volunteer sports chiropractic teams and services for many international games events.
  • Support for athletes with disabilities. Given the scope of chiropractic practice, support for athletes with disabilities has been a natural focus for many FICS members, and now FICS and its Foundation.

The FICS Foundation.

Lack of financial resources remains a primary limiting factor. Now that FICS is well-established and that the demand for sports chiropractic services is so strong up to and including the Olympic Games, FICS has created a FICS Foundation to raise and manage philanthropic donations and support. Since January 2015 the Foundation has been incorporated in the USA with 501(c)(3) status, with a distinguished Board of Directors, and the following vision statement:

The vision of the Foundation is that it will have such a substantial impact on the development of the specialty of sports chiropractic and the welfare of athletes that within 10 years all athletes will have access to sports chiropractic care as an integral part of the sports medicine services offered to them in training and competition, thereby improving athletes’ choice of care and global sports performance.

Your role. Please join and partner with us on this exciting road – on which our Foundation’s overall mission is improving global sports performance.

Current Projects – Athletes with Disabilities. The first projects being supported by the Foundation, through funding and services, are to support athletes with disabilities, at the community and elite levels, in the developing and developed world. These include:

These projects are approved for a 12 month period, funded by donations already received. With your support the Foundation would like to continue these projects and add others in the years to follow. Thank you for your financial and other support.