NDP Brings Back Sports Injury Reduction Strategy

Bill would take action on concussion epidemic in amateur and youth sports

October 4, 2011

OTTAWA- NDP MP Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury), and New Democrat Sports Critic, MP Pierre Nantel (Longueuil--Pierre-Boucher), re-introduced a bill today to deal with the growing number of concussions in amateur and youth athletics.

 “When I initially introduced this legislation, I received overwhelming support,” said Thibeault. “There is great work being done across the country by different groups, but often best practices are not being shared effectively. This is a plan to bring concussion management teams together and create uniform standards.”

 The National Strategy for Serious Injury Reduction in Amateur Sport Act mandates the federal government convene a conference of First Ministers of Health and members of the athletic and medical communities to implement a strategy for tackling this growing public health concern.

 Specifically, the bill outlines a strategy for the federal government to:

  • Create a national sports injury surveillance and data collection system;
  • Establish substantive concussion guidelines, including a sufficient deterrent mechanism to ensure athletes are not being returned to play against expressed medical recommendations;
  • Create national training and educational standards for coaches and other persons involved in amateur sport
  • Institute incentivized funding guidelines to assist amateur sports organizations in implementing these protocols

“Obviously, Sidney Crosby’s concussion has raised public awareness about the issue. Yet Crosby’s injury is emblematic of countless young athletes who are undergoing the same ordeal. We need to find a solution to this epidemic that works for Canadians. New Democrats believe that the federal government has a responsibility to coordinate a comprehensive response.”