Ontario introduced legislation today that would, if passed, protect amateur athletes by improving concussion safety on the field and at school.
The proposed Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2017, would make Ontario a national leader in concussion management and prevention by establishing mandatory requirements for annual review of concussion awareness resources that help prevent, identify and manage concussions, which athletes, coaches, educators and parents would be required to review before registering in a sport; removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols, to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion and giving them the time required to heal properly; and a concussion code of conduct that would set out rules of behaviour to minimize concussions while playing sport.
In honour of Rowan Stringer, the 17-year-old rugby player whose death resulted from sustaining multiple concussions, the proposed legislation would also establish the last Wednesday in September as “Rowan’s Law Day”. Ontario is inviting the public to comment on the proposed legislation until January 29, 2018.
Making organized amateur competitive sport safer is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.