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Paralympics Australia’s newly appointed Chief Medical Officer for Paris 2024, Sport and Exercise Physician Dr Steve Reid, wants to build relationships with an offshore network of medical professionals who could provide care for Australian Para-athletes competing internationally.

Reid, who was the Australian Paralympic Winter Team’s CMO at Beijing 2022, said having an 18-month lead-in to the Paris Games gave him time to get to know the sports and many of the athletes but also “tick off a few projects”.

“One thing I’d like to achieve over the next couple of years is to create a network so that when our athletes are travelling and don’t necessarily have a doctor with them, there will be people we can reach out to in the event that they’re unwell or injured,” Reid said.

“There’s the aspect of having everything ready for the Games in terms of a medical team, all the allied health professionals, making sure you have the resources, you’ve screened all the athletes and understand their medical conditions, their allergies, their medications and so on. You’ve got all the import-export paperwork to do regarding the medical kit you have to take with you. But there’s also a bigger picture.

“As a Chief Medical Officer, I’d like to exit the role having ticked off a few projects that I’d either like to complete or get underway, and leave the organisation in an even stronger position.”

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Reid’s appointment completes Paralympics Australia’s Performance Support Team for Paris 2024. The team (listed below) features the best talent nationally and was assembled utilising Paralympics Australia’s strong relationships across the National Institute Network.

Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said there was an overwhelming response by high-calibre applicants for the role of CMO, leading a headquarters medical team that includes Dr Rachel Harris and Dr Viran de Silva.

“We are so excited to have such an accomplished and experienced team to look after the health of our athletes and staff,” McLoughlin said.

“Steve has travelled internationally with Australian representative teams, including rowing and Fed Cup Tennis. He worked with the Australian Olympic Team at the Rio 2016 Games and was our CMO at Beijing Winter Paralympics last year.

“We’re thrilled to have Steve back on the team for Paris and we know he will do an exceptional job.”

Harris was Australian Paralympic Team CMO at Tokyo 2020 and de Silva worked with the Para-swimming team there. Reid has worked in various capacities with both and described them as “excellent sport physicians and excellent people all round”.

Reid will work with the Australian Para-cycling team at the World Championships in the UK in August. While there, he plans to meet with colleagues from ParalympicsGB. He also said he was hoping to do a Paris site visit soon to see where medical services, sub-sites and facilities will be based.

“It’s great to be at the start of this ongoing association with Paralympics Australia,” he said.

“When I worked with the Winter Team last year I was so impressed by the pride, the trust and the emotional connection within the organisation. They made you feel so welcome from the outset. The whole enthusiasm around supporting excellence was something I really wanted to work with again.”

Paralympics Australia’s Performance Support Team for Paris 2024 has been announced by Siobhan Crawshay – Performance Services Lead APT (VIS), Paula Peralta – Physical Therapies Lead APT (NSWIS) and Peta Maloney – Sports Science Lead APT (AIS), as follows:

Role Practitioner NIN/Other
Physiotherapist Lia Giovanovits Tasmanian Institute of Sport
Physiotherapist Nick Wilson Tasmanian Institute of Sport
Physiotherapist Madeleine Ellis Private Practice & Table Tennis Australia
Soft Tissue Therapist Phil Boland Private Practice
Soft Tissue Therapist Gillian Niven Victorian Institute of Sport
Soft Tissue Therapist Lily Chiu Victorian Institute of Sport
Recovery Physiologist Steph Shell Australian Institute of Sport
Recovery Physiologist Matt Driller Australian Institute of Sport/La Trobe University
Dietitian Olivia Warnes South Australian Sports Institute
Dietitian Kylie Andrew Victorian Institute of Sport
Dietitian Brianna Salagaras Queensland Academy of Sport

By: David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 20 March 2023