When you can get five separate entities – including the largest hockey organization in the country and one of the most well-funded brain injury awareness groups – to pool resources and information to increase awareness of concussion then I would say that is initiative. This dive is once again coming from north of the border as Hockey Canada and ThinkFirst Canada are amongst the five organizations making a push.
The noteworthy product of this group is a survey;
“I think that’s outstanding,” said Pat Waslen, executive director of Football B.C. “One of the problems from our perspective here is there needs to be more [concussion protocols] put in place. Years ago there were no rules saying you had to have seatbelts in your car, right? So it’s the same thing with concussions.”
Waslen said Canada has lagged far behind the U.S. in concussion research and the survey-spearheaded by the non-profit Sports Information Resource Centre-could help not only spread awareness but put in place a list of rules that could be enforced at a provincial or federal level.
Football B.C. has gone out of its way to tackle concussions by being the first sports organization to team up with ThinkFirst Canada to gather information and create concussion policies.
Canada is taking proactive steps, although they feel they are behind in research, our neighbors have been much more receptive and flexible when it comes to changes. We have noted that even with the NHL hiding injuries and being somewhat vague in the past the national sport of Canada has also been more proactive in protection and acceptance of the injury.
It will be interesting to see what kind of results come from this survey and we surely hope that the information can be shared.