Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ken Dryden to Host Guelph Concussion Panel

GUELPH Ontario - February 12, 2013 - Universty of Guelph News Release - The growing issue of concussion management will be tackled by a panel from the University of Guelph and the Guelph sporting community led by Ken Dryden, former NHL goaltender and federal cabinet minister.

The panel will take place Feb. 19 at the Delta Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre starting at 7 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Panelists will discuss how concussions can better be prevented and treated, and ideas for public awareness.

The event will bring together local sports figures, including Guelph Storm head coach Scott Walker and general manager Mike Kelly. Also speaking will be the concussion committee chair of Guelph Minor Hockey; men’s and women’s varsity hockey coaches; Margo Mountjoy, sports medicine physician with U of G’s Health and Performance Centre (HPC); and Jackie Sinkeldam, a physiotherapist who works with University athletes. James Murphy, a U of Guelph student, will discuss his master’s research on balance, recovery and return-to-play after injury.

"I think head injuries are the greatest challenge facing football and hockey at both the kids and professional levels; and for many other sports as well,” said Dryden, who after being a Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens, became president of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “It is a problem for players, coaches, parents, sports administrators, officials, equipment manufacturers, doctors, researchers and citizens in general to address. And it's time for them - for all of us - to come together to begin to address it together.”

Co-organizer Sinkeldam works at Eramosa Physiotherapy Associates, which works with athletes at the HPC. She feels the panel is a unique opportunity for the public to learn about a prevalent issue in sports.

“It’s rare to have so many experts together and hear their opinions with respect to concussion management,” Sinkeldam said. “It’s important for everyone to understand the science and management of concussions is evolving. There isn’t a black and white response to every situation.

“People will learn that concussions span many activities and are not always coming from the obvious sports. They will learn that the consequences from minor concussions have been life-altering for many athletes and that, while medicine offers treatment, the treatment is evolving, and there is no quick fix. I truly hope that people walk away from the event with a new respect for concussion management, which can only help with recognition, compliance to treatment and adherence to policy changes. ”

Mountjoy, who arranged for much of the panel, said that concussions are a growing problem for youth sports.

“Concussions are common in our community with our youth athletes, but appropriate management can decrease recovery time,” she said. “Concussions can impact an athlete’s life – both on the field of play and at home and school. People attending will learn how to recognize a concussion and tips on how to prevent concussion. They will also learn about the latest recommendations on safe return to sport following a concussion.”

Seating is limited. To RSVP, phone 519-767-5011, Ext. 1, or email concussions@uoguelph.ca.