Every year, almost 100-thousand Canadians experience a concussion — and more than half of them happen while people are playing sports. Two leaders in the field are now working together to stop that trend.
Western University used its second concussion awareness and fundraising event to announce a new partnership aimed at reducing the blow concussions have on sports in Canada.
Tim Fleiszer: “Looking forward to create what will be the national leader in research, education and treatment for concussions.”
Western’s ‘See the Line’ initiative — already a leader in concussion protocol in the country — has banded together with the Sports Legacy Institute, a world leader in concussion research. This is the first time the Boston-based institute has branched outside the States.
Dr. Michael Strong: “What it brings for us, is the ability to really take the education programs out of our universities and into the community.”
The partnership has several programs from advanced concussion training, a brain and brawn camp for athletes, parents and coaches, and a university program — already running at Wilfred Laurier University — that has athletes spreading the message throughout the community.
Those involved with see the lines know that they need to get their message inside the heads of today’s young athletes, arguably the most stubborn people on earth — unless you get the right person delivering that message.
And there isn’t an athlete who understands the short and long-term effects of concussions like Honorary ‘See the Line’ chair Eric Lindros who never played an entire season due to injuries – specifically concussions – during his 13 years as a pro.
Dr. Strong: “There isn’t a fifteen year old on the face of the earth you can tell something to and they’ll retain it. So it’s just not going to happen. But if Eric Lindros says it, if Tim Fleiszer says it, if Sidney Crosby says it, then its a whole other kettle of fish.”
Tim Fleiszer: “Andy Fantuz and Brian Bulke from the Ticats have been incredibly involved and incredibly supportive to get this off the ground.”
Because the last thing either group wants is to see the number of athletes in contact sports to continue it’s steady decline.
Tim: “We’re going to have to modify the rules, modify the way we practice to make the game safe so people want to participate.”