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For those of us who operate in contact sports, concussion is something that is a growing area of concern. While there is still a long way to go (I am sure we can all think of recent cases in the news where team need and player safety clashed), at least we are headed in the right direction.
However, there is still work to be done - especially when people like this stand up and spout these types of comments.
So...is there anything else that you think we could do /or should be doing to help promote and develop the awareness of the dangers of concussion? To help alleviate this sense that the player is weak.
Within rugby we have learnt through research that 72% of concussions happen in the tackle....so what....?
We know that high quality coaching and good technique reduces the risk of injury. Education of our coaches & match officials in the safety aspects of the game is paramount and a golden thread throughout our Award & CPD offering - below is an example of a picture we use to identify where a tackler should aim
The RAG colouring indicates an increased risk of injury - anything above the shoulders is illegal.
At England Rugby we also educate all our players, coaches, match officials and parents to understand the importance of identifying concussion. We do this via our HEADCASE programme - http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/player-health/concussion-headcase/
Their are 4 key tenants of HEADCASE
RECOGNISE - know the symptoms & signs of concession & remember you do not need to knocked out to suffer from concussion
REMOVE - any players with suspected concussion immediately, continuing to play significantly increases risk to severe or further injury and prolongs symptoms
RECOVER - take time to fully recover (same for all injuries)
RETURN - The Graduated Return To Play, (GRTP) protocols must be followed and the player should not return until cleared to do so by a doctor
I agree with Simon, it is incumbent on the sporting community to ensure we do not put unnecessary pressure on our players to perform. More importantly we educate ourselves, the players and parents to recognise this potentially damaging injury
if you are interested in how we approach concussion please do follow the link above
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