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Participation in sport can be an integral, rewarding component of life. However, sport concussions can too easily derail the benefit of both competitive and casual exercise—instances that can be avoided through proper education and preventative measures. Sport is especially advantageous for adolescents. Those who participate in sport during this period often build better social skills, develop confidence and create a strong foundation for lifelong health. Unfortunately, it is this very age group that is most vulnerable to concussions. 64-percent of the time, children between the ages of 10 to 18 who visit the emergency room do so because of sports and recreational activities. Of this group, a staggering 39% are diagnosed with concussions, and a further 24% are possible concussions. To further demonstrate the issue, concussions have grown in prevalence by 40% from 2004 to 2014 in the sports of football, soccer and hockey.

Governor General’s Conference on Concussions in Sport “We Can Do Better”

Driven by his  strong desire for Canadian youth to play safe and continue to get involved in sport and physical activity, the Governor General spent a full day in December 2016 hosting a conference with former professional athletes, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, the medical community, and the sport community at large, discussing concussions in sport and how we can do better for Canadian youth to play safe and continue to get involved in sport and physical activity. The recording of the day’s sessions can be accessed through the CPAC broadcast of the Conference on Concussions in Sport. The Minister of Sport and Person’s with a Disability and the Governor General also spoke with the online community, hosted by the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), to gather thoughts on concussion from Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Let’s Talk About Concussions – Ottawa Spring Summit 2017

While the Ottawa Sport Council has always encouraged sport participation, it has also worked to make the community sport landscape a safer space for all participants by facilitating learning opportunities—and there is compelling evidence that concussion education can decrease occurrences and minimize the impact of concussions in sport. Inspired by the Governor’s General’s Concussion Conference, the Ottawa Sport Council, in partnership with SIRC, hosted the 2017 SPRING Ottawa Sport Summit, Let’s Talk about Concussions to further the dialogue. The objective of the 2017 Ottawa Summit was to advance the dialogue around the growing prevalence of concussions in sports through a series of presentations, and round table discussions. It also provided participants with the opportunity to network with peers who face many of the same challenges. Participants were encouraged to take a few minutes to watch this Concussion Management video which provided a good introduction to the Summit discussion.

The goal for the summit was not only to advance the dialogue around the growing prevalence of concussions in sport, but to highlight the latest research in this rapidly changing field and share learnings from the perspective of a parent, a coach and an athlete. The curriculum was delivered through keynote, panel speakers and roundtable discussions.

Summit speakers included:
  • Keynote: Andrée-Anne Ledoux, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow (Pediatric Concussion), Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute;

Dr. Andrée-Anne Ledoux spoke to the group in order to set the stage around:

      • Recognizing and understanding what a concussion is,
      • Identifying the factors that may predict which children will have longer symptom duration, and
      • Examining the association between early physical activity and prolonged recovery risk.

A copy of Dr. Ledoux’s very informative keynote presentation is available for consultation.

  • Panel Discussion (Parent, Athlete and Coaches)
      • Ian Mendes, Host, TSN 1200;
      • Gordon Stringer, Rowan’s Law and Rowan’s Legacy Project;
      • Karolina Wisniewska, Paralympian, alpine skiing; and
      • Lorraine Lafreneiere, Chief Executive Officer, Coaching Association of Canada
Learning Resource from the Ottawa Concussion Summit

In order to ensure the educational material is available to all members of Ottawa Community Sport Organizations, and thus provide a capacity increase to an audience beyond the Ottawa Sport Summit participants, a video eLearning module was developed from the presentations and panel discussions.

The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.