As a second-year medical student, Vikram Ganeshalingam knew the persistent injuries plaguing the later stages of his rugby career were signs to blow full-time on his playing days.
It was a bitter setback for Ganeshalingam who had played rugby since childhood and loved ‘the game they play in heaven’.
But he has since found a way to channel his passion for the sport alongside his newfound medical knowledge by volunteering with the Bond University Rugby Club.
The Sydneysider moved to the Gold Coast to study medicine at Bond at the beginning of 2022.
Since the beginning of the 2023 rugby season, Ganeshalingam has been tending to the Bull Sharks under the guidance of long-serving match day medico Dr Chris Ioannou.
Each Saturday he gets to put some of his lessons into practice.
“The whole experience has been extremely valuable,” Ganeshalingam said.
“I’ve been able to apply the skills that I learn in class and actually gain some practical experience on the rugby field.”
On game days he shadows the doctor, observing and assisting in procedures performed on the sidelines.
He takes part in health impact assessments and concussion management, gaining firsthand experience and insight into the protocols and procedures integral to sports medicine.
The experience may even influence his future career.
“As a second-year medicine student I still don’t know exactly what I want to specialise in,” he said.
“But after gaining this experience with the rugby club I’ve definitely found an interest in the field of sports medicine.”
Bond’s Director of Sport Michael Collins said the arrangement was mutually beneficial.
“We are a part of Bond, and that connection to the university and the students is very important to us,” he said.
“We are always looking at ways to strengthen our ties with the different faculties. We have students and staff engaged in different roles with our clubs and elite sports programs and it has been great to see the way Vikram has taken to this opportunity.
“We can always do with more help on match days and if students can gather some genuine experience out of it, well that’s a win-win.’’
Source: Bond University