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ImPACT Applications, Inc., developer of the ImPACT® test and ImPACT Concussion Management Model, has announced a partnership with New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal (NYSIR), provider of property and casualty insurance programs for New York State public schools and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), to introduce “a comprehensive” Head Injury Prevention Program.
The Head Injury Prevention Program is designed to help subscriber school districts manage student athlete injuries and train faculty and staff to recognize, respond to and prevent school-sports-related concussions. NYSIR’s program utilizes ImPACT for neurocognitive baseline and post-injury concussion testing and to educate athletic directors, trainers, coaches, physical education instructors and school nurses on concussion management.
ImPACT testing and training is currently being phased in by NYSIR and by the end of February, NYSIR plans to have the Head Injury Prevention Program in every subscriber school district—over 350 New York public school districts altogether. School sports covered by NYSIR’s agreement with ImPACT will include football, basketball, diving, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball, cheerleading, field hockey, wrestling and alpine skiing.
“For 26 years,” notes NYSIR President Carleen Millsaps, “we have been a leading insurer of New York’s public schools. The ImPACT-NYSIR partnership is a giant leap forward in our endeavors to continually provide programs and services that protect our subscribers’ student athletes, and a positive step in the education of school officials and staff about the risks of sports related head injuries.”
“ImPACT is honored to partner with NYSIR in its Head Injury Protection Program,” says Michael Wahlster, Chief Executive Officer of ImPACT Applications. “The organization is leading a national trend where innovative insurers recognize the important role they can play in helping subscribers implement an end-to-end concussion management program.”
Football Canada in partnership with the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced that over 5,000 football coaches are now “Safe Contact trained” in the latest tackling and blocking techniques. The figure includes approximately 1,700 coaches who were Safe Contact trained in 2015 alone.
“Football Canada and its member associations are committed to the safety of its athletes,” said Football Canada president, Richard MacLean. “As visible through the high number of coaches which have become Safe Contact trained this past year, the response amongst Canadian coaches, teams and associations has been incredible.”
“We look forward to building upon this success by working with the provincial football associations and community to increase the number of Safe Contact trained coaches across Canada.”
The number of Safe Contact trained coaches will continue to accelerate as the amateur football community gears up to meet a series of deadlines requiring all coaches, under the Football Canada umbrella, to become Safe Contact trained by March 31, 2017. The program, announced in early 2015, require that all head coaches, as well as half of their assistant and position coaches become Safe Contact trained by the end of March, 2016.
An integral part of Football Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), Safe Contact teaches safe tackling techniques that emphasizes making contact with the chest and front shoulder and not the head.
Safe Contact also emphasizes a blocking technique that stresses making primary contact with the hands, along with safety education and awareness.
Starting in 2014, Football Canada teamed up with the CFL to expand and improve the Safe Contact program as part of a shared commitment to player health and safety.
A blitz of Safe Contact events are scheduled across Canada to help coaches become trained in safe tackling blocking techniques, along with safety education and awareness.
Safe Contact training events planned across Canada
Safe Contact training events are available across the country, leading up to the start of the season. Coaches are asked to visit www.SafeContact.ca, coach.ca’s ‘The Locker’ or contact their respective provincial football association for more information. Leagues and associations are urged to contact their provincial association, if they’d like to discuss running additional training in their area.
A coach can become Safe Contact trained by following three easy steps:
2. Register for a Safe Contact clinic through his or her provincial amateur football association or by visiting SafeContact.ca.
3. Attend a Safe Contact clinic, which typically spans eight hours taught over one or two days, usually on a weekend.
After the March 21, 2017 deadline, any new coach has a year from the time he or she first steps on the field as a coach to complete Safe Contact training.
Next steps for Safe Contact coaches
Safe Contact trained coaches are encouraged to continue their development through the national coaching certification program. For more information, please visit: http://footballcanada.com/coach-training/.
The Brains Worldwide Foundation NFP has called for Canada’s Ontario provincial legislature to pass proposed legislation that would introduce concussion protocols and awareness initiatives of concussions in youth sports and other activities.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario recently debated Rowan’s Law, which is named after a 17-year-old Ottawa girl, Rowan Stringer, who died in 2013 several days after being knocked unconscious during a rugby game. It was later discovered that she had suffered three concussions within a week.
“Brains Worldwide urges the passage of Rowan’s Law because it would introduce measures that could save lives,” said Oz Schaefer, founder of the Brains Worldwide Foundation. “We believe the safety of children rests firmly on effective communication, ongoing monitoring and active partnership between parents, coaches and pediatricians, and Rowan’s Law is a significant step toward making this possible in Ottawa and throughout Canada.”
All 50 of the United States have laws dictating the management of youth concussions. If Rowan’s Law passes, Ontario would be the first Canadian province with similar legislation.
Schaefer said concussion protocols could also help identify previously undetected concussions. Researchers estimate that as many as 90 percent of youth concussions are missed or never diagnosed. “Far too often their symptoms are mistaken for other conditions such as attention deficit disorder or depression,” he said.
The foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help advance research and awareness associated with misdiagnosed and undetected concussions in youth sports and other activities. Funds will be used in part to provide 150 families—with children 8-18 years old—an objective assessment system of concussions for home use. The Objective Brain Concussion Assessment and Monitoring System (OBCAMS) gives families and non-medical personnel a portable, affordable assessment tool to monitor their children’s brain health across the five most critical areas of the brain. They can then share ongoing, objective reports with their children’s doctor to help make more informed decisions about whether or not to let their children return to the playing field—or playground—following a documented concussion. More information is available at TheHiddenDanger.com.