When Ken Dryden stood at the podium at See the Line last year, he asked the community to take action on the prevention of concussions. To answer that call, Western University’s See the Line concussion education symposium this year features experts who are working towards making real change in the concussion realm, including policy implementation, introducing changes to how sports are played, and how athletes train and prepare in order to prevent the devastating effects of sports-related concussion.
“This year, we continue to push on the accountability of moving research into action,” said See the Line Honorary Chair, Eric Lindros. “It’s important that we work toward 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.”
The afternoon symposium will include presentations from world-renowned concussion researchers and experts including Dr. Dan Cass, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Executive, 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. 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,” said Dr. Cass.
Also presenting at the afternoon session is Carolyn Emery, PhD, Co-Chair or Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre and Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary who says prevention must be the number one focus. “The best treatment for concussion is prevention. 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,” she said.
Hosted by Western’s 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.