What is Rowan's Law?
A concussion is defined as a traumatic brain injury that affects brain function. In most cases, effects are temporary and don’t result in prolonged damage, but sometimes, concussions can be quite serious resulting in disability and even death.
Rowan Stringer was a 17-year-old Ontario athlete who suffered from two concussions in a one-week period. Although she was experiencing symptoms, she was unaware of how serious they were and she continued to play through them, keeping them from her parents, coach and medical professionals. When she suffered a third concussion during play time, it ultimately ended her life.
Rowan’s Law Day occurs on the last Wednesday of September. It is Ontario’s way of remembering Rowan and raising awareness on the dangers of concussions. On this day, teachers, coaches and anyone involved in sports are encouraged to share information about concussion prevention, identifying concussion symptoms, post-concussion syndrome and second impact syndrome.
What Rowan’s Law Means for Your Organization
Rowans’ Law has increased concussion awareness to the point where Canada has become a leader in concussion management and prevention. As a result, there are requirements that went into effect on July 1, 2019, that are mandatory for sports organizations. These are as follows:
Organizations must ensure that all athletes under 26 years of age, all parents of athletes under the age of 18 and all coaches, team trainers and officials confirm that they have reviewed Ontario’s Concussion Awareness Resources each year.
Organizations must establish a Concussion Code of conduct that dictates rules of behavior that support concussion prevention.
Organizations must establish a removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocol to ensure no players are in the game if they may have sustained a concussion. (Rules for these protocols are expected to be in place by July 1, 2020).
School boards must also follow requirements when dealing with sports related activities in accordance with the Ministry of Educations’ concussion policy for school boards, school authorities and Provincial and Demonstration schools.
How Interpodia Can Help
We’ve heard the term safe sport more from our sport organization clients in the last 6 months, than in the last 10 years. Sport organizations are responsible for for the screening, certification & licensing of coaches and we are well familiar with the obstacles and complexities organizations face in this role. Every sport is different and has a unique set of needs, and there is no out of the box solution or software that anyone could provide. What Interpodia does is take this problem on as our own, and build the necessary integrations so that we can act as the home of your data; our platform is a place for you to store and track details about your athletes, parents, coaches & officials year over year. Our software can assist with concussion awareness in three ways.
1. For Coach & Official Licensing
In regards to coach & official, we offer solutions to help screen, certify and license coaches through the use of management systems, external background check providers and national coaching databases. Our industry-leading technology also provides a solution for tracking certification records, professional development, concussion awareness, code of conduct, first aid training and more.
Some of the services we provide that will be of use to you while managing this process include:
Coach & official license application & approval process.
Tools to configure prerequisites and requirements for being certified.
An accreditation process that is made easier by self management tools for licensee and third party integrations.
A live directory of coaches & officials in good standing.
Automated email alerts for certification and/or requirements are close to expiry date.
Digital creditations in various formats (PDF, Apple Wallet, Google Play) that are updated in real time.
2. For Waivers/Digital Agreements/Code of Conducts
With regards to waivers/digital agreements of parents and athletes, Interpodia is leading the field for collection of digital agreeements during the registration process. We understand that in sport, there are several registration scenarios where a parent is registering a child, or a family member is registering many people in the family. Interpodia provides mechanisms that track the athletes age (at signing) making sure the process captures the signature of a specific adult or the athlete’s legal guardian or parent before membership is issued. This helps ensure that your organization can track Concussion Awareness Code of Conduct, and Acknowledgement of Risk from athletes and parents.
3. Integrations with LMS (Learning Management Systems)
We can integrate with your existing third-party learning management system so if your concussion awareness solution involves digital education, we can gather and track your athletes and parents completion of these courses.
Practice Concussion Awareness
Many steps have been taken to improve concussion awareness in Canada. If you are interested in learning more about the technology, solutions and processes that have been developed to address safety in sports, the Sport for Life Summit is an event that can’t be missed.
The 2020 Sport for Life Canadian Summit will take place January 28 – 30 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel, in Gatineau, QC, Canada. If you plan on attending, be sure to catch Interpodia CEO and Co-Founder discussing effective systems in safe sport, on Thursday January 30 at 11h15-11h45. We hope to see you there.
You can register for the event at the following link:
What happened to Rowan Stringer was tragic. Don’t let it happen to another athlete. Do what you can to improve concussion awareness in your sport organization and sport community. Our technology is modular and completely custom, so whether you need one or all of these solutions, or just want some best-practice advice, reach out to us for a chat. You will be glad you did- having these systems in place give stakeholders peace of mind and its relatively inexpensive.