The 2009 meeting was hosted by Johannesburg, South Africa at the Sandton Convention Centre from 12-15 February. 532 delegates from 14 different countries attended. The meeting, superbly hosted by Dr. Jon Patricios, was well supported by the pharmaceutical industry and sports medicine fraternity who complemented the outstanding presentations with a wonderful trade exhibition. The event was opened with an excellent address by Dr. Tim Noakes who then presented the ACSM faculty with Bafana Bafana (South Africa's National Soccer Team) shirts in commemoration of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to be hosted in South Africa.
The overseas faculty from the ACSM was lead by Dr. PZ Pearce and included Dr. Mark Hutchinson, Dr. Joel Press, and Dr. Doug McKeag. In total, this experienced panel covered 28 topics ranging from fieldside care and sports traumatology to care of specific sporting populations. Dr. Susan Carter also presented an excellent workshop on the Female Athletic Triad. The ACSM contingent was joined by Dr. Dalius Barkauskas, a Lithuanian sports physician with experience from 6 Olympic Games, who presented a series of workshops and lectures integrating orthodox sports medicine with naturopathic therapies. A number of prominent local speakers presented lectures of equivalent quality to their overseas colleagues, including Dr. Mark Ferguson, Dr. Ralph Posner, Dr. Demitri Constantinou, Dr. Glen Hagemann, Dr. Sello Motaung, Ron Veenis, Simon Lawson, Sean Pincus, Janine Hugo, and Estelle Watson.
An exciting feature of the event was the participation of elite athletes in the program. National cricketer Neil McKenzie partook in an excellent breakfast seminar detailing his knee injuries with experienced orthopaedic surgeon Dr Ponky Firer. Bryan Habana opened the cocktail function with an address on the influence of sports science on his career whilst Oscar Pistorius had 500 medical professionals spellbound for 45 minutes during his keynote address “Birth to Bladerunner to Beijing- the influence of sports medicine & science on my career.” The William Webb Ellis Trophy won by South Africa at the 2007 Rugby World Cup was on display on the Thursday evening and was probably photographed more during the ITPC than during the World Cup!
Feedback from local and overseas delegates has been overwhelmingly favorable. The 2009 ITPC was an excellent example of collaboration between international and local expertise and a wonderful learning experience for all, hopefully to be repeated.
Pictured: ACSM Faculty with Dr. Jon Patricios (Host) & the Rugy World Cup: L to R – Dr. Mark Hutchinson, Dr. Doug McKeag, Dr. Jon Patricios, Dr. PZ Pearce, Dr. Joel Press and Dr. Susan Carter.