Concussion in Sport launched to protect Aussie athletes
11 February 2019
AOC: The AIS, Australian Medical Association, Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians, and Sports Medicine Australia have launched their vital new initiative, 'Concussion in Sport Australia'.
The slogan for the new campaign is 'if in doubt, sit them out' with the program aimed at educating coaches, athletes and the general public on the signs and symptoms of concussion, along with the best ways of both treating, managing and preventing their occurence.
The initiative recognises that concussion affects both young and old athletes at all levels of sport from the part-time recreational athlete through to the full-time professionals.
“Concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that results in transient impairment of neurological function. Concussion is a brain injury caused by a forceful blow or knock to the head or anywhere on the body where the force is transmitted to the head,” explained AIS Chief Medical Officer Dr Dave Hughes.
“There is growing concern in Australia and internationally about the incidence of sport-related concussion and the potential health ramifications for athletes at all levels of sport,” he continued.
"The website provides a valuable and trusted resource for the management of sports-related concussion for all Australians, regardless of the sport, location or level of participation”
Concussion in Sport Australia brings together the most contemporary evidence-based information on concussion for athletes, parents, teachers, coaches and medical practitioners. It provides a valuable and trusted resource for the management of sports-related concussion for all Australians, regardless of the sport, location or level of participation.
In working together, Concussion in Sport Australia aims to:
- improve safety and health outcomes for all people who suffer concussive injuries while participating in sport.
- make effective use of funds in the financially-constrained sport and health sectors by providing best practice protocols and guidelines for all sporting and medical organisations.
- assist all sporting and medical organisations to align their policy and procedures with the most current evidence and expert opinion available.
- provide consistency of approach in the recognition and management of concussion in Australia.
Dr Hughes said it's imperative for athletes to feel comfortable enough to speak up when they don't feel 100%.
“It's particularly important that athletes of all ages, including school age children right up to professional athletes, understand that it's okay to say you're not okay - it's not tough to push on with concussion, it's stupid.”
Rio Olympian and Australian Rugby 7s player Tom Cusack, who has suffered multiple concussions during his career, is urging athletes, coaches, parents and support staff at all levels to ensure participant’s health is the number one priority.
“As a professional athlete, I know the importance of a player’s health – it should be the focus of all sporting organisations," Cusack said.
“Concussion is an issue in sport that must be taken seriously. Everyone, from kids at the grassroots through to professional athletes, should feel comfortable to put their hand up and say ‘I am not okay’. There’s nothing tough about playing on with concussion.”
More than 40 sport and medical organisations have endorsed and supported the position statement, including Rugby Australia, Football Federation Australia, Cycling Australia, Basketball Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.
You can find out the full position statement, along with videos, fact sheets, online training and other practical resources HERE.