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Ontario athletes now required to sign concussion code of conduct
Athletes in Ontario who want to participate in school or club sports are now required to sign a concussion code of conduct document.
The document is part of an Ontario law called 'Rowan's Law', which was passed last year in response to a 17-year-old girl from Ottawa who died after suffering a concussion.
Fourth year Sudbury Wolves player Own Gilhua says "you only have one brain, so you need to take care of it. We have a good staff here, too. They know what they're doing. We went over the code of conduct the other day. It's a contact game so you need to be prepared for anything."
For many years, the OHL has had a concussion program in place. But with the new law, there are a few more steps that the wolves have to follow.
"The Ontario government is recognizing that it's an issue in minor sports as well as the level that we're at and university level sports. It's not something that needs to be hidden anymore. It does happen and it's not the end of your career. It's not the end of your world," said Sudbury Wolves Athletic Therapist Dan Buckland.
Laurentian University's athletic department takes concussions very seriously at their level.
"Everybody who's potentially going to be a Voyageur student athlete knows the risk that they're getting into. We all assume as athletes that we know those risks, but I think its key on the education side, which is what Rowan's law is all about. It's educating everyone on the symptoms and signs, which as we all know, may not show up for four or five days," said Laurentian University's Athletic Director Peter Hellstrom.
Sports medicine experts say the average time before a player can return from a concussion is roughly 21-28 days.
They say recovering athletes will always start up with light practice and workouts before getting back into full play.