CORNWALL — Ontario’s government is recognizing Rowan’s Law Day by investing $105,000 to expand efforts to improve concussion safety across the province.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, joined by Gordon Stringer, father of Rowan Stringer, Tim Fleizer, from the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada (CFLC), and other concussion safety advocates, marked the 2nd Annual Rowan’s Law Day by announcing that Ontario is partnering with CLFC to support prevention, education and awareness events across the province.
“Through a lot of hard work, determination and grassroots support, we have come together as a province — one community to change the culture of amateur sport,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Rowan’s passing was both tragic and unfair — but it did bring out the best in Ontario to prevent similar tragedies in the future. That’s why we are so pleased to add the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada as a key partner in our efforts to improve concussion safety.”
The funding will support local See the Line concussion symposiums; camps to teach kids how to engage in proper body contact in soccer, hockey, football and lacrosse; and, seminars.
“We believe that by engaging our youth directly we are going to have a positive impact on promoting head safety for the rest of their lives,” said Jim McDonell, Member of Provincial Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety) was passed with unanimous support in the Ontario Legislature in March 2018. As part of the law, the last Wednesday in September is considered “Rowan’s Law Day’ in honour of the memory of Rowan Stringer, a 17-year-old Ottawa rugby player, who died in spring 2013 from a condition known as second impact syndrome (catastrophic swelling of the brain).
Through video, print, and social media, Ontario is changing the conversation about how concussions are handled. The goal is to encourage coaches, parents and players to stop celebrating the “warriors” who jump back in the game too soon after a concussion — and instead recognize the serious brain injuries that concussions represent, and the time required to treat them.
“To our fellow Canadians, follow our example — take action and adopt this legislation. By working together, we can change the culture surrounding concussions, and make the sport sector safer for all amateur athletes,” said Minister MacLeod. “We’ll honour Rowan Stringer’s memory by continuing the momentum we started in June 2015 to improve concussion safety across the province and he country.”
- As of July 1, athletes, parents, coaches, team trainers and officials will be required to review the concussion awareness resources and their sport organization’s concussion code of conduct, where applicable.
- The highest rates of concussion in Ontario are found among children and youth under the age of 18.
- Ontario students who report a head injury are more than twice as likely to report very high emotional distress and less success in academics.
- Show your support for #RowansLawDay through a tweet, Facebook or Instagram post.