Recovering national boxer Michael Alexander is in need of professional therapeutic assistance to ensure his timely rehabilitation.
Physiotherapist Dominic Wilkes has already volunteered his services to the ailing boxer, who was involved in an accident while riding his motorcycle in Diego Martin, on January 27.
The pugilist entered the Port of Spain General Hospital in critical condition but and was discharged on February 26.
Prior to his release from hospital, the 27-year old underwent a successful surgery on his left arm, was able to consume solid foods and have good recollection of memory. He has also shown good signs of advancing mobility.
“Michael is home and resting a lot. The family is ensuring he eats a well-balanced diet. They are doing as much as they can to support Michael in this time.
“However, as advised by the medical team, he would need professional assistance, starting with the physiotherapy.
“Physiotherapist Dominique Wilkes offered his services and has been treating with Michael on a weekly basis. He has been the first (to volunteer services) so far,” said a close relative to the recovering boxer.
As it stands, the family now awaits national sporting organisations, particularly the TT Boxing Association, to see what other assistance could be rendered to ensure his timely recovery and if it’s even possible for him to return to a competitive state.
Veteran sport consultant Narada Wilson believes it’s a perfect time for sporting bodies such as the boxing association, Sport Company of TT and the TT Olympic Committee, to ensure all departments lend some assistance.
Alexander has been one of TT’s front running athletes who was favoured to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Wilson said, “An elite athlete such as Michael, suffering injuries he did, would need athlete-support services. It is necessary for sport nutritionists to ensure they have the proper dietary formulas to ensure his body could return to what a competitive or highly functional state is.”
He added that physiotherapy is important to ensure basic motions of the athlete, from the injury, returns to normal function.
Even adapted functionality and clinical psychologists to deal with stresses that such a traumatic event could have on the athlete from the changes in adaptation to basic living circumstances.
Additionally, dealing with the stress of non-competitiveness, any strain in family or personal life.
Wilson continued, “At the end of the day, prior to being an elite athlete, he is a human being who has to operate in a particular society. Not being able to do what you were glorified for in the not too distant past does cause some sort of strain or stress on the athlete.”
The seasoned consultant also noted that being a high performance athlete means Alexander is usually granted funding from specific sporting bodies in TT, particularly the Ministry of Sport Elite Athlete Assistance Programme.
He added, “Michael, due to his injury, could fall out of favour (for funding) because he’s not able to maintain his rank internationally to qualify for such funding. You would need these services to assist with the athlete coming to terms with that potential loss of income.
“The sporting bodies also have a part to play to ensure they provide the best environment for the athlete to recover as well as post-accident life.”
Wilson has been an international sport consultant for the past eight years with The Brazil Link (TBL) Ltd. This organisation provides its clientele of athletes with access to sports attorneys, physiotherapists, sport psychologists, nutritionists and all other support services that are involved in pro athletes having a viable career in their life span.
Through TBL, Wilson has encountered situations with other notable national athletes where his organisation had to pay medical bills because national associations did not have proper insurance policies.
Because of this, athletes were sent to the public health care system for career-threatening injuries. However, TBL took it up on themselves to go private, cover the cost and then possibly work out a payment plan with the NSO to reimburse them over a period of time.
As an alternative, Wilson absorbed the costs as a way to protect the athletes because they were under TBL’s purview.
He concluded, “I have seen how devastating it can be for those who got injuries and were never able to get proper medical attention and post-injury care.
“This ended up with athletes disappearing off the scene. We have to be careful how many of those we allow to slip through the cracks if we would like longevity and success in sport in TT.
“I am just recommending an advising to these NSO’s and sporting bodies that they have to ensure they lend assistance to these athletes in their time of misfortune.
Just as much as they would require the athletes’ performance to use as a tool for them to acquire notoriety as well as funding from the government or organisations.”