Implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme in English schoolboy rugby union

Barden, Craig ORCID: 0000-0001-5504-2548, Stokes, Keith A and McKay, Carly D (2021) Implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme in English schoolboy rugby union. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, 7 (2). e001018. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2020-001018

11328 Barden, Stokes, McKay (2021) Implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme in English schoolboy rugby union.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (893kB) | Preview


Objectives: The implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme has not been assessed in an applied context. This study aimed to (1) describe the knowledge and perceptions of school rugby coaches and players towards injury risk, prevention and Activate and (2) evaluate Activate implementation in schoolboy rugby using the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance framework. Methods: Bespoke electronic surveys were administered to coaches (including support staff) and players at participating English schools (2018–2020). Most questions and statements were answered using a 7-point Likert scale. At baseline, participants detailed their Activate awareness and perceptions of injury risk and prevention in schoolboy rugby. At postseason, participants reported Activate use throughout the study and their perceptions towards the programme. Results: At baseline, significant differences existed between coaches (n=106) and players (n=571) in Activate awareness (75% and 13% respectively; χ2=173.5, p<0.001). Coaches perceived rugby had a significantly greater injury risk than players, while holding more positive perceptions towards injury prevention. At postseason, coaches reported greater Activate adoption compared with players (76% and 18% respectively; χ2=41.8, p<0.001); 45% of players were unaware if they used the programme. Median session adherence was twice weekly, with a median duration of 10–15 min. This suggests Activate was not implemented as intended, with recommendations of three 20 min sessions per week. Both groups identified common barriers to implementation, such as lack of time and inclusion of a ball. Conclusion: Coaches are instrumental in the decision to implement Activate. Targeting behavioural change in these individuals is likely to have the greatest impact on intervention uptake.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rugby; Activate; Injury prevention programme; Injury risk
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Craig Barden
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 11:22
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:07

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.