Gulf News caught up with Anna Zickerman, owner of Up and Running, a sports medicine clinic based in Dubai.
GULF NEWS: Tell us all about you and Up and Running?
Anna: I first came to Dubai in 1976 and was brought up here with my brother along with my parents and I now call Dubai my home.
I came back to Dubai in 2006 after studying Sports Medicine in the UK to set up the first sports medicine clinic in the region. It took a while as it was pioneer work with all the required legalities and in 2010, I proudly opened Up and Running.
We aim to be an integrated clinic, trying to cover as much as possible in our field of work, all under one roof for the active population.
We now have three branches of Up and Running in Dubai; the main branch on Al Wasl Road, a re-hab based clinic at Emirates Golf Club, where it is linked to the gym at FITLAB and our third is here at DIFC. We have a wide reach with great locations all over Dubai.
In summary, at our Up and Running clinics we deal with any musculoarticular aches and pains for both elite athletes as well as the public.
Within our overall clinic facilities, the aim is for the patient to see a doctor, receive a diagnosis, perhaps have a scan and educate the patient, take and update the patient’s shared proper medical history and provide a comprehensive treatment plan.
It is usually a step-by-step process, starting conservatively and working from there to get the patient back on his / her feet, whether a quick-fix or more of a long-term recovery programme.
We have a huge network of local orthopedic surgeons and other specialists, when we require a second opinion or more specialist advices, that is an extension of our Up and Running offering.
We also work with international experts and this is where my DP World Tour partnership comes in.
GULF NEWS: What is your relationship with the DP World Tour?
Anna: I, as a sports medicine specialist, have been working and attending events on the DP World Tour since 2009. I attend, on average four or five tournaments in this role every year.
This includes events especially in the Middle East region; historically, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and, of course, here in the UAE in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. In addition, in my role, I often support Swedish events, my actual home country, including this year’s Volvo Scandinavian Mixed.
Up and Running is one of just five globally recognized and certificated clinics on the DP World Tour and we also deal with players and officials and staff throughout the year, with many players and staff now residing here in Dubai as well as travelling through the UAE.
GULF NEWS: How do you work together in practice?
Anna: When the Tour comes to town, we integrate with the DP World Tour Physio Team and share records and our skills. They are very professional and they usually send over around four physicians for each event, on a rotational basis. Dealing with professional golfers and keeping them fit to play on the golf course and to stay in the tournament is a hugely important role.
We are essentially their GP’s on Tour, as the players do not always have much time to visit their own GP’s when they are in their homelands.
We are ready for everything, from a simple cold to a major trauma such as a heart attack. We take it all in our stride.
We work closely with the DP World Tour’s Medical Director Dr Andrew Murray and Rob Hillman the manager of the Physio Team.
In fact Dr Andrew Murray and the DP World Tour should be given credit for delivering a robust programme as well as internationally recognized policies and protocols during Covid, and this kept the Tour on the road and the tournaments happening and, arguably, the DP World Tour set benchmark Covid protocol for Europe and wider field for all sports that was the envy of most, and was copied by many non-golf organizing bodies and events.
GULF NEWS: What are your thoughts for the future of you and Up and Running?
Anna: Moving forward it is great to see more DP World Tour events coming to this part of the world, including the recent announcement of the 2023 Hero Cup at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and further Challenge Tour events. We look forward to continuing to work on the existing strong calendar with the DP World Tour, DP World and all their exciting new DP World initiatives in this specialist sports medicine and related space.