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New concussion protocols to be implemented across sport

New concussion protocols to be implemented across sport

New concussion protocols will be implemented across sport in response to growing concerns that the safety of athletes is not being taken seriously.

The new rules will be developed in partnership with medical experts, player associations, and governing bodies, such as UK Sport, Sport England.

According to the Government, action will be taken to “improve understanding, awareness, prevention, and treatment of concussion” in sport at all levels.

As part of this plan, new protocols will also be implemented to identify if an athlete has suffered concussion and whether it is safe for them to return to the field.

The latest research suggests that failure to identify brain damage can lead to neurodegenerative diseases in later life, such as dementia. Professional footballers, for instance, are “three-and-a-half times more likely” to die of neurodegenerative diseases compared to the general population.

Commenting on the plans, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Sport brings so many physical and mental health benefits to our lives. However player safety must be absolutely paramount. Working with the sports industry it is right that we do all we can to ensure that people are as protected as possible and the risk of head injuries are minimised.

“That’s why we’re taking steps to reduce this risk and developing new, gold-standard industry protocols and focusing on emerging tech that can help build a fuller picture of the risks involved.

Laurence Geller, UK government independent concussion advisor and chairman of Love of the Game, added: “By making the game safer, we make the game better for everyone. But it’s not about changing the rules: it’s about working with experts from the medical profession, science and technology to devise protocols, knowledge, and equipment to allow us all to continue playing the sports we love.”

Click here to access the Action Plan on Concussion.

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