Calgary Amateur Sport Head Injury Prevention Convention

Calgary amateur sports leagues are taking the issue of head injuries and concussions in minor-league contact sports “head on”.

HEAD ON is a one day convention taking place at the University of Calgary’s Murray Fraser Hall on May 15, 2011. The convention’s objective is to help educate players, parents and coaches on the growing concern and emerging knowledge surrounding both the short and long term effects of sports-related head injuries. The first community-initiated gathering of it’s kind in Western Canada, HEAD ON is focused on the junior and minor-league athletic levels – where attention to the issue is largely overshadowed by the media focus on professional level incidents and controversy.

Keynote speaker Chris Nowinski, a former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler, is the co-founder and president of the Sports Legacy Institute, a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to addressing, increasing understanding of, and mitigating the sports-related concussion crisis.

Mr. Nowinski’s credentials were earned on the front lines of the head-injury issue. Forced to retire after sustaining a series of concussions, a challenging recovery was the impetus that led Chris to author an insider’s book on the subject.

Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis, is a searing expose of the seriousness of the concussion issue at all levels of that sport – intended – in Chris’ words, “to help educate parents, coaches, and children about the irreversible effects of this hidden public health issue.”

Nowinski is also Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic

Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, serves on the National

Football League Players Association Mackey/White TBI Research Committee

and is a member of the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of America.

Calgary Bulldogs Football Association President Darcy Andres explains why community and sponsor support for HEAD ON is mushrooming.

“It’s much bigger than just football and it’s certainly much bigger than just the

Bulldogs. It’s a reality we’re bearing witness to almost daily in some shape or form, both in professional and at the amateur level of sport. And while it’s certainly not exclusive to, it is much more prevalent in all contact sports”.

For this reason, the Calgary Bulldogs have joined forces with the Calgary Stampeders, Hockey Calgary, Calgary Midget Football League and a dozen other crusading sponsors to organize and host this first of what they hope will be many similar “concussion prevention conventions” in communities throughout Western Canada. The inaugural event is expected to attract over 500 Alberta amateur athletes, coaches and parents for the day-long symposium.

Also participating will be local experts in the medical and sports fields, including Stampeders Director of Medical Services Pat Clayton, Stampeders Equipment Manager George Hopkins and protective-equipment representatives from Reebok Canada.

“The Calgary Stampeders are proud to support the HEAD ON convention,” says Stampeders President Lyle Bauer. “Pat brings 35 years of CFL service to the table and George is about to enter his 39th season with the Stamps. Both of these professionals look forward to helping Calgary’s amateur athletes understand how to better prevent head injuries.”

Tickets for HEAD ON are $5, available at Adrenalin & Tuxedo Source for Sports locations. All proceeds will be donated to KidSport, Calgary.

For more information about HEAD ON call or email:

info@calgarysportcouncil.caTerry Andryo or 403.828.6700