Ontario acts on concussions – introduces new measures to help athletes stay safe
The Ontario Government is working to make it safer for competitive amateur athletes, children and youth to play sport in Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport was joined by Hockey Hall of Famer and concussion advocate Eric Lindros on Monday to officially launch the Rowan’s Law awareness campaign. The goal of the campaign is to help young athletes, their parents and coaches across the province recognize the signs of a concussion.
MPP for Leeds, Grenville, Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes Steve Clark said in a release “From my own experience playing sports, I know there were times when I or my teammates should have headed to the sidelines instead of staying in the game. I’m so pleased to see the progress we’re making to ensure sports are safer for children and amateur athletes by increasing the awareness about the dangers of head injuries. Coaches, parents and players need to look out for one another and know it’s not a sign of weakness to leave the game to make sure you’re OK.”
“With the spirit and story of Rowan Stringer’s preventable passing, Ontario’s government for the people is making sport safer by raising awareness about concussion safety,” said Minister Tibollo. “Reducing the risk of concussions is always the goal, but concussions happen. Knowing what to do if a concussion happens – whether you’re an athlete, a student, a parent, a coach, an official or an educator – saves lives.”
The campaign was launched with the “Hit. Stop. Sit.” concussion safety video that has been playing in cinemas and will be running over the next few weeks. Through video, print and social media, the province says the Rowan’s Law awareness campaign will change the conversation about how concussions are handled in amateur sport.
An ad appeared during Game Five of the NBA Finals last night.
The campaign encourages coaches, parents and players to stop celebrating the “warriors” who jump back in the game after a concussion – and instead recognize the serious brain injuries that concussions represent.
The law is named for Ottawa high school student Rowan Stringer, who was just 17 when she died on May 8, 2013. She had been tackled hard during a rugby game. She had suffered multiple concussions.
Rowan’s Law, a joint effort from MacLeod, Liberal John Fraser and New Democrat Catherine Fife, passed last year and established what MacLeod said is the first law of its kind in the country. It passed with unanimous support in March 2018. Ontario is a world leader in concussion safety and is the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass concussion safety legislation.
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