The values of sports science is widely known throughout the sports world and many institutions. In some cases it actually turns out to be a lucrative business for the professionals in major sports clubs. Notwithstanding though, in Ethiopia this specialization is yet to make an impact, but people like Dr. Messai Desalegn who is a sports science teacher, and head of the sports science department is set to make a difference. From 19-23 February 2018 the College of Natural and Computational Sciences gave a community service project training on capacity building. Their aim was to instill some conventional wisdom and methods in massage therapy to coaches and physical education teachers.
A massage is the systematic manipulation of soft body tissue for prevention and restorative purposes. And in Ethiopia massage therapy is starting to pick up headway.
The training illustrated theoretical and practical aspects to the art. Professionals in the field from neighboring districts (woredas) were invited by the University of Gondar for the 4 day training. Around 125 individuals took part and will eventually receive a certificate for their effort.
Dr. Messai Desalegn who led the training spoke vehemently about the lack of awareness in the area of massage therapy. He expressed that not a lot of people have a specialization in massaging and it is ‘rare’ to see experts. “There are numerous methods and techniques when one wants to massage an individual, but those ways are not being implemented,” he said, “Everyone is doing it for the money and not for the love of the profession.”
With such training being conducted in the future it may be that an increase in recognition is given to these manual workers. Therefore once those who were involved in the training grasp the teaching of Dr. Messai the responsibility will be put on them to pass it on to others in neighboring districts. In this way athletes and coaches will have the personnel they need to compete at any level.
Just some of the benefits of massage therapy are relieving pain, increases flexibility, promotes circulation, reduces stress, relieves mental and physical fatigue as it energizes the body and improves overall sense of well-being.
By: Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate