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Welsh Schoolchildren Join Concussion Campaign Launch

Pupils To Get Involved In School Sport Danger Warnings


Pupils from Treorchy in south Wales have been invited to take part in raising awareness of the dangers of concussion in school sport.

The Welsh Assembly government has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of concussion in school sports, which it invited pupils at Treorchy Comprehensive to join in with, Wales Online reports.

It is an issue that came to prominence after the death of 14-year-old rugby player Benjamin Robinson in 2011. The youngster was playing in a schools match in Northern Ireland when he was concussed, but returned to the field of play. A second blow to the head later in the game exacerbated the damage to his brain with fatal consequences.

Following this incident, the youngster's family have been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of concussion injuries in schools and this has prompted the Welsh Assembly to formulate its own campaign.

Benjamin Robinson's father Peter came to the school to speak about the issue and the work he has done to campaign for a better understanding of concussion.
Huw Lewis, the minister for education and the media, was also present at the launch.

Head of PE at the school Alan Waring said: "All the pupils found the experience moving and will carry the message of the importance of the campaign with them through their lives."

At the heart of the campaign is the desire to prevent deaths by secondary concussions, when a first blow to the head only produces limited damage, but can become far worse and potentially deadly if a player returns to the field and suffers a second blow.

This has led to a number of sports governing bodies updating their guidance to ensure that players are removed from the field immediately if there is a reasonable suspicion that they have suffered concussion.

An example of this is football's Premier League, with Queens Park Rangers substituting midfielder Sandro in a game this season after a blow to the head.

The move was praised in many quarters, including by brain injury charity Headway.

Expert Opinion
The serious issue of head injuries and concussion has been in the spotlight recently, with new rules being implemented by the Football Association governing the way head injuries are treated on the pitch. However, these incidents are also common is school sports and it is vital campaigns such as this raise awareness of the serious nature of concussion.

“In our work we see the devastating impact a head injury can have on the victim, so we understand the issue and believe it is vital that the importance of it should not be underestimated by those in charge of sport. It is crucial strategies are developed to ensure that, when such incidents occur, the wellbeing and best interests of players and competitors at all levels of sport are always the top priority.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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