Former Super Bowl champions boost student’s goal

Ashlie Pracy with a genuine Green Bay Packers’ helmet.
Ashlie Pracy with a genuine Green Bay Packers’ helmet.

A STUDENT has teamed up with the world’s most successful American Football club to investigate the injuries sustained by their players.

Priestley’s Ashlie Pracy contacted the Green Bay Packers’ assistant athletic director Nate Weir to help him research the causes of NFL injuries as part of his AS studies.

Through social media and video conferencing Ashlie gathered information from Weir and drew his own conclusions as to why footballers playing in specific positions are at a high risk of injury.

“It has been a great experience to work with one of the world’s top clubs and athletic trainers and something that will be invaluable for me going forward,” said the 18-year-old from Loushers Lane.

Ashlie, a former Bridgewater High School pupil, is studying BTEC Sport and Exercise Science but examined NFL injuries as part of the Extended Project offered at Priestley.

One of his main discoveries was that players are 247% more likely to sustain injuries competing on artificial surfaces.

His findings back up Green Bay’s policy to retain a grass surface even though it is more costly to maintain and most other clubs have switched to man-made surfaces.

He is hoping the research will help him towards his goal of becoming a sports physiotherapist and will take his next step when he goes to Sheffield Hallam University in September.

More than 800 young people applied for a place on the physiotherapy course and Ashlie was one of only 85 who secured a spot.

“I got interested in physiotherapy because I played a lot of football for Warrington Town and was susceptible to injuries,” he said.

“I wanted to know why that was and understand how you recover from injuries in sport.”

The Green Bay Packers have won more championships – 13 – than any other team in NFL history. They won the first two Super Bowls and have secured two more since.

Priestley Sport Tutor Richard Donnelly helped put Ashlie in touch with the club’s trainer, Nate Weir, as he used to coach him football during a stint in America.

“Ashlie has worked really hard and it is incredible to think that the Green Bay Packers’ trainer has been helping out a student in Warrington,” he said.

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