17 July 2015
University of the Sunshine Coast researcher Amanda Clacy will present her findings on how sporting bodies may be able to better understand and manage concussion in junior players at a free public presentation on Monday 20 July from 6pm.
The first comprehensive study of its kind, the research is focused on the ‘ABCS’ – Antecedents, Behaviours, Consequences, and Socioecological Factors – of sport-related concussion in junior rugby union.
The study involved more than 300 rugby players and more than 60 other members of the rugby community, including parents, coaches and club administration.
Amanda said there was a need to balance the benefits of participating in contact sports with potential risks.
"Concussive injuries have become a growing concern in the sporting community and fear of injury has led to decreasing participation in contact sports," she said.
"We know that playing team sport can have significant and wide-ranging benefits for adolescent development. The aim of this project was to provide a greater understanding of how we can prevent, identify and treat concussion, so that players and their families can make informed decisions about participating."
While the initial findings focused on rugby union, Amanda said the research would provide a strong foundation for clubs and sporting bodies across all codes – including rugby league, AFL and more – to understand the types of behaviour that may contribute to concussion and how best to manage injuries when they occurred.
"Concussive injury may never be completely eliminated from rugby and other contact sports. However, by taking a multifaceted approach to better understanding it we may be able to moderate the incidence of concussion in junior sport," she said.
Amanda, along with her supervisors Dr Rachael Sharman and Dr Geoff Lovell, conducted the research in collaboration with USC’s Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems Director Professor Paul Salmon and Research Fellow Dr Natassia Goode.
All members of the local sporting community and the public are encouraged to attend the presentation in USC’s Lecture Theatre 1 at its Sippy Downs campus.
— Jarna Baudinette