Written answers

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Concussion in Sport

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Offaly, Independent)
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806. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to implement a standardised mandatory education training programme for all sports coaches in respect of concussion. [23614/19]

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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The education and training of coaches and volunteers in relation to concussion is a matter for the National Governing Bodies of Sport concerned, under which cognisance is taken of the risk profile of the particular sport concerned, that sport’s collective experience and the medical expertise within it. 

It is pertinent to note that there is an increasing body of research being conducted on the matter of concussion in sport, some of which is being conducted by international sport federations. It is the expectation of Sport Ireland and I that the guidance developed by National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland would accordingly continue to evolve over the coming years.

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Offaly, Independent)
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807. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there is inconsistency between the various sports in terms of concussion recovery time; the steps he will take to implement the roll-out of a national protocol to address the inconsistency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23615/19]

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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I fully recognise the importance of ensuring athlete safety. Athlete welfare is paramount. Various organisations have concussion and head injury guidelines for their sports, which stress the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of the athletes.   

However, neither I nor Sport Ireland have a statutory role or remit with regard to monitoring, reviewing, or ensuring consistency between, the safety standards in use by, or applicable to, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs). Responsibility for athlete safety and participants rests with the individual National Governing Bodies of Sport. The approaches taken in each sport in relation to concussion are accordingly a matter for the NGBs themselves with cognisance being taken of the risk profile of the particular sport concerned, that sport’s collective experience and the medical expertise within the relevant sport. 

NGBs must, of course, abide by Health and Safety legislation and should have regard to any guidance issued by relevant statutory agencies. The safety of all those involved in sport is of paramount importance, whether as participants, competitors, spectators, volunteers or workers.

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