April 2019

Concussion in sport

What we did

We expanded our existing state-wide concussion education programs to better service the needs of South Australian sports organisations, regional clubs and leagues that have limited resources.

The project focuses on educating people how to implement concussion policies and manage concussion safely.

We held a number of community concussion forums and courses in both Adelaide and regional South Australia including Barmera, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Robe and Mallala. These sessions had a holistic approach to managing concussion and brought together coaches, administrators, league officials, umpires, sports trainers, GPs, players and parents. The forums and courses aimed to help people:

  • recognise concussion
  • manage concussion 
  • implement return-to-play guidelines
  • deal with head injuries.

Why we did it

In early 2017 a new Consensus Statement on Concussion was released following the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport held in October 2016 in Berlin.

It was evident that programs and policies needed to be updated and implemented in line with the new Consensus Statement.

Throughout 2016 SASMA saw the number of reported concussions rise and this has gained the attention of the local sporting community.

We wanted to assist with this by supporting the industry from grass roots to elite level, with excellent professional development and services in the areas of concussion, injury management and education.

How we know it worked

We recognise that this project will require three years (minimum) to reach the broader sport and recreation community across the state through a staged process.

However, at this point into the initiative have reached in excess of 1300 participants through more than 40 concussion education sessions and eight community concussion forums across South Australia.

Participants at each session received an evaluation form to provide feedback on the session they attended.

The evaluation forms asked participants to rate the content, presenters, location and any other feedback they wished to provide. The majority of attendees rated the content “good” to “excellent” in relation to how it applied to their club.

We will distribute a further survey in late 2018 and early 2019 to evaluate the uptake of the new policy by community level clubs across all sports.

Discussions will continue with state sporting organisations and with the STARCLUB officers from the state club development program to seek their feedback and evaluation on sessions already run. This will also be used to strengthen the project going forward.

From the current forums and courses that we have run, we have also received numerous requests to run similar sessions for other community groups, including schools, sporting clubs, associations and councils.

Through the project we have established working partnerships with local councils, state sporting organisations, the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Sport SA, the AFL and many local sports associations.

Web: http://sasma.com.au/Resources/Concussion.aspx