On March 7, 2018 Royal Assent was granted to Bill 193 to enact Rowan’s Law in Ontario.
The Act imposes various requirements on sport organizations. This new legislation is intended to ensure better management of concussions in amateur sport and will establish mandatory requirements for:
- Annual review of concussion awareness resources that athletes, coaches, educators and parents would be required to review before registering in a sport;
- Removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols, to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion; and
- A concussion code of conduct that would set out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sport.
The Jr Gaels Football Club have been of the forefront of injury and concussion prevention, player safety being our first priority, as a tool to optimize athletic development.
We have been the first organization to implement mandatory baseline testing for all our players and last year we partnered with Allen Champagne, MD/PhD candidate (2023) at Queen's University, former defensive tackle for the Gael's Varsity Football team and co-founder of the Concussion Education, Safety and Awareness Program (CESAP) and the NeuroProtection Project. As part of his research, Allen monitored selected players throughout the season using video and helmet accelerometers to identify opportunities to improve their technique and ultimately reduce their risk of injury, including sport-related concussions. This initiative provided important insight for our staff about the effectiveness of using data-informed interventions to enhance coaching practices, in order to promote the development of our athletes.
As of 2019, we will be incorporating the NeuroProtection Project to leverage technology, scientific innovation and the latest performance tools to re-focus training models towards reducing risks for injury. Our goal is and has always been to make the game safer, while ensuring that the focus is maintained on allowing athletes to become the best version of themselves.
As a busy parent, you may not understand the full complexity of concussions – they are both a tricky and sensitive topic! It’s easy to identify your child’s bruise or scrape, but it’s not always as simple to identify an injury inside the head.
Please dont hesitate to ask for a copy of Jr Gaels Football Club Concussion Education documents for more information, practical help and support.