See the Line turns attention to concussion

Last year, Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden stood at the podium of See the Line and asked the community to take action on the prevention of concussions.

To answer that call, the annual concussion education symposium this year features experts working towards making change in the concussion realm, including policy implementation, rule changes, and athlete training, all in an effort to prevent the devastating effects of sports-related concussion.

“This year, we continue to push on the accountability of moving research into action,”  said Eric Lindros, See the Line Honorary Chair. “It’s  important that we work towards identifying strategies that stop damage from concussion, improve long-term outcomes and get people back to work and back to school feeling better. There should be a sense of urgency around keeping the next generation safe in sport and playing sports.”

On Thursday, See the Line will include presentations from concussion researchers and experts, including Dr. Dan Cass, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Executive, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Chair, Rowan’s Law Advisory Committee.

“The Rowan’s Law story is a great example of the power of collaborating across sectors to drive positive system change,” Cass said of the Ontario law passed in 2016 to protect young athletes from concussions the bill is named for Rowan Stringer, a high school Rugby player from Ottawa, who died from Second Impact Syndrome due to multiple concussions suffered within a short period of time.

“The work of a diverse group of stakeholders – from politicians (of all stripes) to experts in health care, public health, injury prevention, sports, education, as well as affected families – has led to the implementation of legislation, regulations and policy which are changing the game in terms of concussion prevention, awareness and management.”

Also presenting is Carolyn Emery, Co-Chair or Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. “The best treatment for concussion is prevention,” she said. “Concussions are predictable and preventable and a multifaceted approach to primary prevention in youth sport includes prevention targets such as rule changes, safety equipment recommendations and training strategies.”

Hosted by the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, See the Line is a collaborative, 10-year initiative that seeks to educate athletes, coaches, parents and the broader community about the serious impact of concussions. It aims to shift the culture around concussion in sport, reduce the incidence of concussion and improve care through research.

Since 2013, more than 4,000 medical and health professionals, athletes, coaches and community members have attended See the Line events, which include a continuing medical education session and a Community Symposium featuring an athlete panel discussion, moderated this year by TSN and CTV National News Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead who has been on the forefront of covering stories of concussion in sport.

Registration is open until the end of day Tuesday.