The DCAL Minister Caral Ni Chuilin MLA, as Minister for Sport, together with the Education Minister John O’Dowd launched a new leaflet and poster campaign highlighting the dangers of concussion in children and young people.
The need to publish this guidance emerged from the tragic circumstances of Ben Robinson, a young schools rugby player who tragically died as a direct effect of concussion in 2011. The campaign is based on the fact that recognising the signs of concussion and removing children from the field of play can save lives. Additionally it is recognised that the issue should not be a barrier to the beneficial participation of young people in sport however where sports and other physical activity are pursued then safety is a paramount consideration. It has also been made very clear that this is not a matter for the sport of rugby in isolation, but for all sports for all physical recreational activities and for basic play.
Informative leaflets and posters are being distributed to children, schools and sports clubs, leisure centres and libraries across the NI. Teachers and coaches will also receive a pocket concussion recognition tool to help them identify indicators of the head injury and the pocket tool is also reproduced within the leaflet. The advice of course is also pertinent to adult players.
The materials were developed, in English and Irish, by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Department of Education, the Chief Medical Officer and the Health and Safety Executive NI and have the support of both Ulster Rugby and IRFU together with all other sports governing bodies.
If you are a player, coach, or parent involved in youth rugby we strongly recommend that you download one of the information leaflets below and make your self aware of the actions to be taken should you suspect a player is suffering from concussion.