Spinal Cord Injuries Declining
Due to the financial support of the Fund and the efforts of others toward prevention, statistics now show that the incidence of broken necks in Canadian hockey is on the decline. 65 hockey players in Canada have suffered broken necks confining them to lives in wheel chairs. The number peaked to four per year in the 1980’s, dropped to 2 per year in the 1990’s, and now averages one per year, still too many.
Several well-known professionals and many amateur athletes have suffered career ending concussions. In conjunction with the Canadian Hockey Association, the Fund has initiated a nationwide Concussion Awareness, Prevention and Management Program. This has included providing over 400,000 informational brochures to associations, coaches, trainers and players. A laminated concussion awareness card is being given to all attendees at the Canadian Hockey Safety Program and to attendees at the 2002-2003 Hockey Trainers Certification Program.
A new video, SMART HOCKEY, MORE SAFETY, MORE FUN!, has been produced by Think First Foundation of Canada, with some support from the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund. This video focuses primarily on Smart Hockey Tips showing how to avoid getting or causing head and spinal cord injuries. Appearing in the video are current and former NHL hockey stars including Mats Sundin, Mark Messier, amd Key Dryden. Following airing on TSN, more than 30,000 copies have now been made available through the Canadian Hockey Association to coaches, trainers and players and through Think First Foundation of Canada.