World Rugby is encouraging members of the global rugby and sporting families to be smart and download the #RecogniseAndRemove concussion education App on World Head Injury Awareness Day on Sunday.
World Rugby plays a leading role in head injury and concussion awareness, education, prevention, management and research and in 2015 alone more than 17,000 members of the public, players, coaches, rugby medics and general practitioners undertook its concussion education modules.
In a drive to effect cultural change and get 50,000 people to get educated this year, World Rugby is challenging everyone to download the App, complete the modules, get their certificate, display it on social media and challenge friends and family to do the same.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “World Head Injury Awareness Day represents a further opportunity to call upon the global rugby family to use their heads, download our concussion awareness App, get educated and set an important example to friends, family and team-mates.
“Concussion is a head injury that effects all sports and it is our role to minimise the risk of concussion wherever possible through the promotion of best-possible playing and training techniques and robust education.
“We are changing culture at the elite and community levels and our message is simple – recognise the symptoms of concussion and permanently remove any player with clear or suspected symptoms and seek medical attention. It is not acceptable to play on or train.”
On Friday, World Rugby announced statistics from Rugby World Cup 2015 that go a long way to suggesting that the culture is changing. No players who were removed and assessed after a head impact and then who returned to the field of play were later determined to have sustained a concussion.
In 2013-14 the average elite figure was 12 per cent while prior to the temporary removal for a head injury assessment 56 per cent of players assessed and cleared to play on were later determined to have sustained a concussion.
Find out more about World Rugby’s player welfare programmes, including concussion, here.