Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

January 19, 2012 11:15 ET

The Government of Canada Is Committed to Supporting Canadian Youth Playing Team Sports

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2012) - 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."

FACT SHEET

Funding to Address Concussions and Brain Injuries in Children and Youth Playing Team Sports in Canada

Unintentional Injuries among Children and Youth in Canada

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 19. More than 40% of brain injuries in children and youth aged 10-19 years treated in emergency departments are due to sport and recreation activities.

While the Government of Canada is encouraging Canada's children and youth to become more active and live healthy lifestyles, we also want to ensure their safety while being active. Through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Active and Safe initiative, the Government of Canada is investing $5 million over two years to support a number of community-based activities that empower Canadians to make safe choices while engaged in sport activities. Today's announcement for $1.5 million will support a Canada-wide initiative aimed at reducing the rate and severity of concussions and brain injuries and improving return-to-play decision making for children and youth playing team sports.

Brain Injury Prevention in Team Sports in Canada

This project is a collaboration among four organizations - ThinkFirst Canada, Hockey Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. Each partner will lead specific sections of the project, focusing on, or targeting audiences within their respective networks, ensuring the project reaches Canadians across the country - in urban, rural, remote and northern locations.

The project includes:

  • an environmental scan to examine existing brain injury and concussion information, and to identify gaps in information and training, as well as areas of greatest opportunity for new approaches;
  • an awareness campaign to share brain injury prevention and concussion information, teach coaches, parents, and young athletes about the risks and signs of head injury, and influence Canadians to adopt practices and policies that will increase safety and reduce head injuries sustained in team sports; and
  • the development, design and delivery of a variety of new initiatives, including a brain injury and concussion mobile app, downloadable concussion information cards and helmet fitting guides, and toolkits for individuals involved in team sports, to ensure access to consistent and reliable information about brain injury and concussion prevention and treatment across all provinces and territories.

The project will also focus on providing online programming and low / no cost education and awareness resources to help ensure all Canadians can access this important information.

Contact Information

  • Health Canada
    Cailin Rodgers
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Media Relations
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    (613) 941-8189