St. George's Park becomes Centre of Excellence
© FIFA.com

St. George’s Park's sports medical centre has become the first in England to receive the coveted FIFA F-MARC accreditation, joining 36 elite medical facilities across the globe as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.

The FA was officially presented with the prestigious certificate by FIFA Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak at a ceremony on Monday at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire, meaning that it is now recognised amongst the best in the world, including renowned centres in Munich, Cape Town and Qatar, that have demonstrated ‘leadership in football medicine following a strict selection process.

In the first year since its opening, St. George’s Park has reached out to 34 clubs with 266 young players screened for heart defects. Almost 814 physio sessions have been delivered and 110 weeks of rehabilitation performed with 36 clubs sending players to the complex.

FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak, said: "The F-MARC accreditation will enable The FA through its fantastic facility at St. George’s Park, to have the unique opportunity to link with the remaining 36 medical centres around the world. It allows there to be a real collaboration between the best centres in the world, where by medical expertise can be replicated or analysed between the world’s various medical experts in football. It really is about becoming part of that global network of top institutions dealing with football medicine."

The news comes off the back of a recent event held at St. George’s Park where a FIFA 11+ workshop was held. FIFA 11+ is an injury prevention programme, and almost 80 coaches and sports physical therapists joined senior members of The FA’s medical team at the event, to practice and discuss the key aspects of the established prevention programme.

"This is fabulous news and just reward for the very high standards we have set at St. George’s Park," said St. George’s Park Chairman, David Sheepshanks. "It is a richly deserved accolade for The FA’s own medical team led by Dr. Ian Beasley and Gary Lewin and our resident sports medicine team at St. George’s Park, part of Perform, Spire Healthcare, run by Phil Horton and Dr Charlotte Cowie.

"We have a world class facility here that provides a full array of services including everything from cardiac and health screening to performance analysis, nutrition, injury rehabilitation and clinical care pathways. Being accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence admits us into an exclusive ‘world club’ amongst the best sports medical practitioners. It will enable us to interact, share ideas and research projects whilst helping us to learn from the very best exponents of sports medicine."