NeuroProtection Project – Performance Meets Safety, A Step into the Future of Sports

NeuroProtection Project – Performance Meets Safety, A Step into the Future of Sports


So today is our kick off for our 2018 season so, this year we are very excited to partner with Allen Champagne and CESAP in order to heighten safety for our players as well as performance. So, in the past we’ve had some strict concussion protocols and safety measures in place this year we’re taking it up a notch in order to train our guys to be safer players but also better players. So I’m a coach on the football team here at Queen’s, defensive line and I’m also an MD Ph.D student with Dr. Cook and this project here is a our step into injury prevention in terms of, from a football standpoint, so our expertise is in neuroimaging and so we image the brain after the injury and we’ve walked into now using censors, and now video analysis and the MRI to kind of create this like integrated model to understand what is the impact of 1 concussions but also repetitive sub-concussive impacts on the brain. What I’m trying to do here is really combine football science with performance driven sport science, to help athletes develop from a youth all the way to a college standpoint and maybe find the things that they’re bad at, identify those and then make them safer players on the field, while getting better as football players. So you’re combining the sport science and the injury prevention into kind of one model which is exciting for us. So, our project is run through the Centre for Neuroscience studies which is ran as a collaborative effort and so we have a couple postdocs and graduate students in our lab and now we’re hiring a lot of undergrad students to help us. Again, this work, and we also work with the Queen’s Athletics and the football program here Coach Pat Sheahan has been a great person to work with. So, it’s nice because you get the top down approach and the bottom up where we bring the science to them and then it triggers some interest and now we’re kind of building neuroscience ambassadors using student athletes. So you really kind of incorporate the whole student, athlete perspective into one. We’re talking about safety, we’re talking about teaching kids how to actually develop into sports in a healthy and safe way. You know, it’s a sport that teaches kids so many skills beyond just being physically fit and having athletic abilities. I’ve been playing for a long time and it’s really developed like my social skills, my athletic ability and just everything that I’ve basically build up as a person, from now. It’s important to realize that sports also has a lot of positives and so where we come from, Dalbé-Viau, which is a school in Lachine there’s a lot of kids that come from poor families that really make it through high school because of football. It gives them an opportunity to succeed in the classroom, make friends and really develop as young men. I feel kind of fortunate to be here because I get to be the median between you know, the people who are complaining about the sports and people that want the sports to survive. because I have, we have a solution. You know, we’re going to make the game safer by using what creates the risk and mitigating that. So, if we can improve the sport, make it safer I think we can go a long way.

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