SA Rugby has committed to creating more awareness of concussion following a workshop on the advancement of concussion management standards in Cape Town on Thursday.
The one-day event, the first of its kind in South Africa, was facilitated by SA Rugby in collaboration with MyPlayers and Momentum, and was attended by medical professionals from World Rugby, the various South African national teams, as well as franchise and provincial sides, and insurers.
SA Rugby confirmed that several months of discussions on the refining of concussion protocols culminated in the workshop, where all the stakeholders collaborated to develop a plan of action for the way forward.
The three key outcomes from the workshop were first, a commitment to provide specialised concussion prevention and rehabilitation training to selected medical practitioners involved at the provincial rugby unions. Second, to expedite the development of a national network of medical doctors who are well versed in concussion management for rugby union. And third, to build upon current concussion awareness and education of rugby players, medical doctors, parents, teachers, coaches, match officials and other rugby stakeholders.
Former Springbok centre and assistant coach, Brendan Venter, who helped to set up the workshop, said: ‘Being a medical doctor, a former Springbok, and the dad of a young rugby player, makes this topic very relevant and close to my heart. It is so important that things are done properly, so this workshop is a massive step in tightening up the way we do things.’
Clint Readhead, the head of medical at SA Rugby, says the purpose of the workshop was to identify key interventions that will further enhance best practice in concussion management.
‘In modern sport, it is extremely rare for all interested parties with potentially competing interests to work towards jointly improving player welfare standards,’ said Readhead.
‘Rugby cares, and this is why we are collectively doing something about it, and I want to thank the various role players for their valuable contributions towards the success of the gathering.’
Ex-Springbok utility back Pat Lambie recently announced his retirement from rugby due to the effects of an accumulation of concussions. And on Thursday, former Samoa U20 flank Faiva Tagatauli died after suffering a head injury while playing a club rugby game last weekend.
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