“I have a pretty strong interest in the way the human body works and its capabilities and capacity to overcome illness and setbacks that everyone has,” Wyatt says.
“I was at a Cowboys opposed training session on a Friday morning, and the Elite Athlete Program Coordinator in Townsville, Wade Sinclair, said to me, ‘We’ve got this Elite Athlete Program, I’d recommend you apply for it so we can give you help when you need it, so the physiotherapy staff know that you’re involved with it.’
“Ever since I did that in conjunction with the Head of Physiotherapy they’ve been so understanding of what I do, and are always making sure that those things are going well and one’s not falling behind the other.
“In terms of placement, all I’ve had to do is put in for special consideration, tell them what I do in conjunction with the Elite Athlete’s Policy and they’ve pretty much met every consideration I needed to have,” he says.
“Whether that be location of placement, timing of placement, what’s required when I’m on placement, if I need to go somewhere for training, or if I need to go to Sydney for a day. There’ve been really no hiccups with it; I think it’s been great.”
Wyatt’s physiotherapy skills have also carried over to his refereeing, particularly with the need to rapidly recover from the intense exercise referees have to do on a regular basis.
“A referee can run 11 kilometres in a game, then have a day's break and be expected to do another game two days later,” he says.
“At the same time, mentally, you’re making anything between 300 and 400 decisions a game while you’re doing that physically, so it’s not by any means an easy gig.”
“Learning what I have about the musculoskeletal side of physiotherapy has carried over in terms of injury prevention, management, mobility and what I can do in my own time to make sure I’m fit and preparing as best I can for my weekend games and recovering afterwards.”
Refereeing even occasionally doubles as a study session, with Wyatt’s colleagues in Townsville eager for tips to make sure their physical performance is up to scratch.
“I train with a squad of 20 people here in Townsville every Tuesday night, so people are always coming to me for advice on injuries and little niggles and what info you can pass onto them, and who to see, so it’s tied in really well,” he says.