Let us introduce you to Janesh Ganda. One of our recently appointed student board members.
At BOSEM, our editorial team consists of a unique and diverse group of growing and established academics and clinicians willing to bring new voices and vigour to the broad Sports & Exercise Medicine field. Yet, we felt incomplete without the voices and views of the next generation of leaders in our field. Hence, we expanded our editorial team with a dedicated student panel – a group of peers and colleagues currently at the undergraduate, BSc, MSc or PhD level and keen to learn more about academic publishing.
Tell us about yourself (where do you work, what is your background, something personal, etc.)?
I completed my medical undergraduate degree in 2012 at the University of the Witwatersrand and subsequently completed my Master’s in Philosophy (Sports and Exercise Medicine) in 2022. My thesis assessed the training load and injury data of the 2019 Junior Springbok team as they prepared for the Junior World Cup in Argentina.
I am now embarking on my PhD through the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Calgary, assessing a more comprehensive tool to return rugby players back to play following a concussion
I am currently the team doctor for the Springbok Sevens (Commonwealth Games 2022, gold; HSBC World Circuit 2022, silver).
Previously I worked as the team doctor for the Springbok Women (National Women’s Rugby 2018), SA U20 (2019–2021) and SA U18 (2019–2021) teams. This has contributed to my knowledge of the different variables contributing to injury in male and female rugby, as well as in different age groups.
I have always had a love for sport, and between 2013 and 2015 I was selected for Team South Africa’s Duathlon and Triathlon team competing at the World Duathlon and Triathlon championships. Finding Sports Medicine was a great way to marry my love for sport and medicine.
What is your main area of research / clinical expertise?
I have worked mainly in rugby union for the last 7 years, so I have gathered good experience in the medical care of rugby union players. This includes injury and illness management in athletes, pre-season screenings and keeping up to date with anti-doping legislation. My Master’s thesis gave me great insight into training load variables and the impact it has on injury. My PhD currently will focus on concussion care in elite rugby players which lends well to my clinical work in rugby union.
My MPhil coursework covered various aspects of the medical and orthopaedic care of athletes.
My work outside of rugby union includes working with SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) as the medical doctor in charge of teams travelling to the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, and the Region 5 African Games. This has given me experience in various other sporting codes, such as football, volleyball, swimming, and athletics.
What is your motivation to be a member of the BOSEM team?
I was interested in joining the editorial team at BOSEM because of the journal’s commitment to publishing high-quality research that advances the field of Sports Medicine. I believe that the peer-review process that BOSEM employs with a diverse group of members will equip me as a reviewer and an author. This will enable me to contribute in a meaningful way and hopefully translate these skills to the next generation of researchers and Sports Physicians.
What is a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?
My appointment as the Team Physician of the Springbok Sevens and being involved as a Chief Medical Officer for multiple large-scale Games (Commonwealth Youth Games and Region 5 Games) are achievements that I am proud of. The ability to assist teams on a larger scale is rewarding and seeing these athletes succeed in their fields, or being able to play a role in their success is fulfilling.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I am fortunate to call some senior researchers and clinicians my mentors. This has contributed to my endeavours in the clinical and research space. A/Prof Jeroen Swart (UCT) made a major impact on my career and the ability to be a “clinician-researcher” which is not always a direction I thought my career would head to. Prof Mike Lambert (UCT) and Dr Sharief Hendricks (UCT) have both influenced my decisions to pursue academics further and undertake my PhD.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
Trail running with my wife on Table Mountain is an all-time favourite, followed by surf in the icy Atlantic.