Taking a shot at SUNCOURT in “SENNAN LONG PARK” in Osaka! -A sports medicine doctor, Shigehiro IKEDA, who recovered from injuries & surgeries for four times and plays/watches/supports basketball, talks about the attraction of medical support for athletes.-

  • Work out
  • The one and only
  • Tried
  • Hot spot for athletes
  • With the family
  • With the kids
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Osaka City (Osaka Pref.)
Taking a shot at SUNCOURT in “SENNAN LONG PARK” in Osaka! -A sports medicine doctor,  Shigehiro IKEDA, who recovered from injuries & surgeries for four times and plays/watches/supports basketball, talks about the attraction of medical support for athletes.-

The photos in this article were taken when a state of emergency was not declared, paying attention to infection prevention, social distancing and made sure to stay there only for a short period of time. In addition, the interview was conducted by Zoom at a later date.

Hello, everyone! I’m Ayaka YAMAOKA, a physical therapist practicing basketball. Today, I came to SENNAN LONG PARK to meet up with someone I respect!
<font color='blue' size='2'>Right next to the parking lot is our meeting spot, “SUNCOURT” for 3 X 3 basketball, and shiny Osaka bay with blue sky reflection!</font>
Right next to the parking lot is our meeting spot, “SUNCOURT” for 3 X 3 basketball, and shiny Osaka bay with blue sky reflection!
As soon as I got here, I relaxed in spa called “Sennan Onsen, SORA no yu”, and now I’m writing this lying on the beach.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Right next to the parking lot is our meeting spot, “SUNCOURT” for 3 X 3 basketball, and shiny Osaka bay with blue sky reflection!</font>
Right next to the parking lot is our meeting spot, “SUNCOURT” for 3 X 3 basketball, and shiny Osaka bay with blue sky reflection!

Relaxing at Tarui Southern Beach, the venue for WMG 2021 KANSAI’s “Open water swimming”

In front of me is the shiny ocean that changes colour depending on how the light hits it, pleasant smell of it, relaxing sound of waves…I feel like dozing off but let me introduce this spot to start with. Oh, a plane went past me…I see, Kansai International Airport is near here.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Relaxing on the beach. It was a little warm spring day and soft sand was comfortably holding my body. </font>
Relaxing on the beach. It was a little warm spring day and soft sand was comfortably holding my body.
“SENNAN LONG PARK” is an outdoor recreation spot opened in Sennan City, Osaka in 2020. There are four recreation areas with buildings along the coast of Osaka Bay. Besides me relaxing on the beach, there are couples taking a walk along the roadside, a family running with their dog, windsurfers, beach soccer players, girls having lunch at fashionable cafe, etc. Time passes by slowly here, and there seems to be various ways to enjoy.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Super relaxed drinking delicious fashionable soda. (Bought at “TSUBOICHI TEA PLACE” in “Community Area”) </font>
Super relaxed drinking delicious fashionable soda. (Bought at “TSUBOICHI TEA PLACE” in “Community Area”)
And the place I’m covering this time is “SUNCOURT”, an outdoor 3 x 3 basketball court located in the western end of the park called “Activity Area”. There are two basketball hoops that people can use for free without reservation. Families holding a basketball as well as people who came here for various purposes were taking turns to play, and the place was crowded all day.

Interview with a sports medicine doctor, Shigehiro IKEDA, who plays/watches/supports basketball

I was so relaxed under the warm weather, then the person who appeared in front of me was…

ME: Dr. Ikeda! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule.
Dr. IKEDA (referred to below as IKEDA)): Hello. I’m Shigehiro IKEDA, an orthopaedic doctor. Nice to meet you.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Unexpectedly, he appeared in a suit! He took a break during work to come here.</font>
Unexpectedly, he appeared in a suit! He took a break during work to come here.
<font color='blue' size='2'>He was wearing a non-woven mask on arrival. Only when taking photos, he either took off his mask or wore a mask specially made for the group he belongs to, making sure we keep social distancing.</font>
He was wearing a non-woven mask on arrival. Only when taking photos, he either took off his mask or wore a mask specially made for the group he belongs to, making sure we keep social distancing.
To begin with, I’d like to explain what brought me interview Dr. Ikeda. It was right after I changed my career and started working at a hospital in Osaka, I saw Dr. Ikeda speaking enthusiastically at the hospital’s study group about sports related disorders. I got interested in his passion for curing athletes and his attitude that he intentionally chose to be “alone” in this study group filled with many people, which made me wonder “Why is he fighting alone?”.
<font color='blue' size='2'>It was sunny, sometimes raining lightly. He performed various tricks under unpredictable spring sky!</font>
It was sunny, sometimes raining lightly. He performed various tricks under unpredictable spring sky!
He was acting like this even though there were many senior physical therapists. “He’s appearing enthusiastically, it looks extraordinary.”. I got shocked and was curious to know his background because I just started working there.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Locker room right next to” SUNCOURT” for 3 x 3 basketball. Dr. Ikeda didn’t use it, instead, he changed quicky in the way he mastered at sports club.</font>
Locker room right next to” SUNCOURT” for 3 x 3 basketball. Dr. Ikeda didn’t use it, instead, he changed quicky in the way he mastered at sports club.
The fact is “He is determined to support sports, following his experience of injury and getting surgery”. In this article, I’m going to introduce the “attraction of supporting sports” based on his experience!
<font color='blue' size='2'>★Online interview. Special guests: Chiyomaru (pet dog) and a sports pharmacist <a href='https://wmg2021.jp/en/gotospo/detail?id=1991' target='_blank'>Mr. Tetsuro YOSHIDA </a>, a member of the group which people with different occupation cooperate.</font>
★Online interview. Special guests: Chiyomaru (pet dog) and a sports pharmacist Mr. Tetsuro YOSHIDA , a member of the group which people with different occupation cooperate.

Daily life is filled with medical support, from surgery to education

ME: I usually see you at work, so it’s rare to see you without the white coat. I heard that you have a strong attachment to basketball, so what kind of activities do you do?

IKEDA: I love basketball! First of all, I love playing it and the year 2021 is the 10th year for the team I organise. As an orthopaedic doctor, I provide medical support on the spot besides carrying out surgeries at hospital. It is fulfilling, difficult but enjoyable, so I’d like to keep challenging. As for basketball, I won’t be able to stop talking once I start, haha.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Wore a mask in these times. The photo shoot without wearing a mask was conducted in a short period of time keeping social distancing.</font>
Wore a mask in these times. The photo shoot without wearing a mask was conducted in a short period of time keeping social distancing.
<font color='blue' size='2'>He, at the examination room of the hospital he works at. Working as a doctor in a white coat. ★Special guest: Trainer working at “Rehabilitation Room”, which Dr. Ikeda is responsible for as the director.</font>
He, at the examination room of the hospital he works at. Working as a doctor in a white coat. ★Special guest: Trainer working at “Rehabilitation Room”, which Dr. Ikeda is responsible for as the director.
ME: You really are a “basketball lover”! It seems you don’t have time to get some rest, providing medical support on the spot besides working at hospital, but what is it like?

IKEDA: About medical support on the spot, I work not only as a basketball team doctor but also work at sports venues including other sports such as football, which is the activity related to sports association. Apart from that, I give lectures on sports medicine at universities and colleges…it’s a life filled with sports medicine, as you say. It’s hard making time but I can take my mind off work playing basketball in spare moments, so I like it.
<font color='blue' size='2'>”Let me use the camera!”, says Dr. Ikeda, suddenly, with the heart of a young boy. His hobby is taking pictures and I can see his excitement from the back.</font>
”Let me use the camera!”, says Dr. Ikeda, suddenly, with the heart of a young boy. His hobby is taking pictures and I can see his excitement from the back.
<font color='blue' size='2'>His favourite pair out of his basketball shoes collection! He was wiping the sole carefully after photo shoot.</font>
His favourite pair out of his basketball shoes collection! He was wiping the sole carefully after photo shoot.

'SUNCOURT”, where you can enjoy playing street basketball anytime in a pleasant environment

ME: You introduced me “SENNAN LONG PARK” today but what is the connection with you and this place?

IKEDA: I had been curious what the place was like since I heard there were new outdoor courts. The 3 x 3 championship scheduled in 2020 was called off due to typhoon, and I always wanted to come since then. I usually play at gymnasiums in Osaka Prefecture but it’s hard to book. Here, the environment is good and I can enjoy playing street basketball at any time!
<font color='blue' size='2'>Rhythmic shot, one after another!  He had operation on his both knees following the injury he got playing basketball, but he seems to be making good progress in recovery.</font>
Rhythmic shot, one after another! He had operation on his both knees following the injury he got playing basketball, but he seems to be making good progress in recovery.
ME: I see! Next, please tell me what brought you play basketball. Since when did you like it?

IKEDA: Since I read manga, “SLAMDUNK” when I was a primary school student. I read this manga, which an older boy in the neighbourhood was about to get rid of, and I was impressed as a kid. I started playing properly at Jr. high school. There were twists and turns but I’m so happy that I can enjoy playing at the age of 35.
<font color='blue' size='2'>[Posing like SAKURAGI, the main character, on the cover of SLAMDUNK Vol. 1] He was feeling a bit awkward but he did his best according to my request! His favourite character is Hisashi MITSUI.</font>
[Posing like SAKURAGI, the main character, on the cover of SLAMDUNK Vol. 1] He was feeling a bit awkward but he did his best according to my request! His favourite character is Hisashi MITSUI.

I feel rewarded as a team doctor as the team grows, and I strive to prevent sports injuries/disabilities so that there won’t be athletes suffering from them.

ME: What makes you happy when you get involved with them as a team doctor?

IKEDA: It makes me happy when the team I support shows progress. Nothing else. As a member of the team, there’s nothing better than winning a game. My aim as a team doctor is to prevent sports injuries/disabilities including “ACL injury” which I got operated on, so that there won’t be athletes suffering from them. I would also like to reduce the risk of sprain that is the most common trouble for basketball players, so I approach thinking about it every day. It’s enjoyable to involve with the team making the best use of my specialty as the team becomes stronger, so I would like to continue to work on it.

ME: Please tell me other things that made you happy!

IKEDA: Some members of the teams which I involved with got interested in rehabilitation and are aiming to become physical therapists and trainers. As a medical worker, I’m happy with it. Imagining that the players understood the importance of what I had been doing on the spot, I feel I’m blessed to be a team doctor.
<font color='blue' size='2'>Good spot for taking photos in SENNAN LONG PARK. He’ll have the wind at his back and will be more active!</font>
Good spot for taking photos in SENNAN LONG PARK. He’ll have the wind at his back and will be more active!
ME: So, when do you have a hard time?

IKEDA: The meaning would be a bit different if I call it a hard time...but I am expected to be a team doctor 365 days, at any time because injuries and disorders are unpredictable. Also, the judgement I make on the spot as a team doctor differ from the one I normally make at the examination room of hospital. On the spot, with trusting relationship, I sometimes give the go-ahead to the cases which I cannot do the same at the exam room. On the other hand, it is very tough to order to stop because I know too well about the background of the player and the situation of the team. These are tough but fulfilling at the same time. It’s my lifework, including bitterness and toughness of it.
<font color='blue' size='2'>He plays basketball after going through injuries and surgeries. Since he’s a player who went through injuries and surgeries himself, he truly understands the feeling of the athletes who come to his exam room.</font>
He plays basketball after going through injuries and surgeries. Since he’s a player who went through injuries and surgeries himself, he truly understands the feeling of the athletes who come to his exam room.

He got injured playing basketball and had his knees operated for four times. Sublimating the strength of sports doctor, he enjoys sports from many perspectives!

ME: Thank you! Lastly, could I have a quick comment, please?

IKEDA: This is a personal thing but it was when I was in the first grade at High school that I injured the ACL of my right knee and had it operated for the first time. After that, I had two more surgeries on it because I wanted to keep playing basketball. And, when I was 34, the ACL of the other knee was torn, actually. Again, when I was playing basketball...I had it operated on Chrismas day in 2019 and I’m working hard with rehabilitation right now to play again. I was feeling down at first. But now, I can say clearly that this experience is my strengh as a sports doctor that I could understand “how the injured athletes are feeling”. Using this experience to grow, I’d like to broaden my activity related to medical support. Of course, I’ll keep playing basketball throughout my life!
<font color='blue' size='2'>At online interview, he spoke about the future of medical support for athletes in detail, based on his experience!</font>
At online interview, he spoke about the future of medical support for athletes in detail, based on his experience!
<font color='blue' size='2'>It started raining as soon as we finished photo shoot, and it was lucky to see a faded rainbow on the way back! Sunny weather follows Dr. Ikeda, I think his future will be happy.</font>
It started raining as soon as we finished photo shoot, and it was lucky to see a faded rainbow on the way back! Sunny weather follows Dr. Ikeda, I think his future will be happy.

The sports and disciplines
of the World Masters
Games 2021 Kansai
held in the neighbourhood.

Ayaka YAMAOKA
Introducing the poster

Ayaka YAMAOKA

I am from Nara Prefecture. I love rowing! I am working in a hospital as a physiotherapist / trainer.
・Staff of Japan Rowing Association, Para Rowing Committee
・Instructor authorized by the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center, “Asuchare! Messenger”
・Member of 23rd Shiga Prefecture Provisional Council for Sport
・Chief instructor of the general incorporated association “Cococalabo, Step+”