January 19, 2012
For immediate release
(Ottawa, Ontario) – The Government of Canada today announced support for young Canadians playing team sports. This support, announced by the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), on behalf of the Minister of Health, will help reduce the rate and severity of concussions and brain injuries and improve return-to-play decision-making for children and youth playing team sports.
“We want our children to be active, healthy and have fun while participating in team sports and physical activity. But we also want our children to be safe,” said Minister Gosal.
“It is estimated that as many as 90% of severe brain injuries can be prevented. That’s why we are investing in projects to help ensure the safety of our children and youth while being active.”
Through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Active and Safe initiative, the federal Government is supporting a number of projects that focus on preventing serious injuries and reaching Canadians in the communities where they live and play. ThinkFirst Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Sport, the Coaching Association of Canada, and Hockey Canada are collaborating on one such project that will create awareness and provide coaches, trainers, parents, and athletes with unique tools and resources, such as mobile applications that will provide up to date information on brain injury and concussion prevention and recognition, as well as return-to-play protocol.
“Canadian families are becoming increasingly concerned about sport related injuries, particularly concussions,” said Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Executive Director and CEO of ThinkFirst Canada.
“By helping those who participate in team sports gain better access to consistent and reliable information about brain injuries and concussions, we can help create a safer sports environment for our children and youth.”
“Hockey Canada looks forward to working with our partners on this initiative, as we strive to make sports safer for our children,” said Hockey Canada Vice-President of Membership Services Glen McCurdie.
“It is great to be able to address this issue in such a collaborative way, and we are extremely confident that our work will have a positive impact on all sports groups in Canada.”
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada