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A mindset change might prevent brain injuries in hockey

An ice hockey coach, who has been involved in coaching for over 20 years, endeavours to change people's mindset toward injury prevention instead of changing the game. His coaching included all age groups and categories, from the youngest players to varsity and professional levels. He says coaches nationwide, including Ontario, have enormous influence on both players and parents. For this reason, he suggests that coaches are the ideal messengers of safer practices on sports fields in their quest to prevent brain injuries.

He is involved in the Safe4Sport Prevention Program that aims to provide all stakeholders with guidance and resources to prevent severe injuries to hockey players. These include parents, officials, administrators, coaches and players. With affiliates to stop concussions worldwide, this not-for-profit organization bases their support on research, prevention, management and education.

Education is provided to the mentioned stakeholders along with physicians on causes of neurotrauma injuries and concussions as well as their effects and consequences. Too many athletes suffer life-changing consequences of injuries due to the lack of standards of practice in the sports types in which concussions are frequently suffered. Along with hockey, other dangerous sports include rugby, soccer and football.

With the prevalence of information, awareness campaigns and conferences that deal with the prevention of brain injuries in sports, no athlete should be at risk due to the negligence of a coach or another official. However, in such an event, the injured athlete or his or her parents can pursue financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system. A lawyer with experience in dealing with brain injury cases can provide the necessary legal support and guidance.

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