Coaching in the UK

Keeping schools rugby safe

Tue, 30 Jun 2015

“Teachers and coaches must be aware of the risks of concussion and follow the guidance which is now available”, according to former rugby international Tim Stimpson. Speaking at the 2015 Conference of the association for Physical Education, the Newcastle, Tigers and British Lions player was responding to questions from PE teachers anxious to ensure that schools rugby stays safe.

Stimpson’s voice faltered as he recounted visiting the parents of a teenage boy who had died as a result of concussion. “He lived for his rugby’” they said, “and enjoyed every moment of playing”.

Concussion is one of the major topics in the sport at present, and Stimpson’s remarks come only days after the publication of new guidance from an expert forum of representative bodies and medical experts. “It’s critical” he said “that teachers and coaches stay up to date with their own development, so they can continue to manage the game competently.

The association for Physical Education was represented on the Forum, whose guidelines are available to download from the Sport and Recreation Alliance website. The RFU’s Medical Director Mike England comments: “This has been a ground-breaking initiative, as it is imperative that those working in the education sector know how to recognise concussion and take action. If I had to pick out one key message it would be: if in doubt, sit them out.”

Posted 30 June 2015

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