New head injuries protocols introduced to protect welfare of British skiers and snowboarders

New head injuries protocols introduced to protect welfare of British skiers and snowboarders

gb Snowsport are pleased to announce a new, sport-leading suite of head injury interventions designed to protect athletes from the worst impacts of training and competition induced head traumas

New medical protocols focusing on the management of head injuries sustained in training and competition have officially been introduced across all GB Snowsport disciplines. The enhanced requirements, which have been in development for the past 12 months, have introduced a new Return-to-Snow Protocol which requires ten days of symptomless testing and monitoring post suspected concussion before athletes are permitted to return to full training and competition. Accompanying the new protocols is a series of education modules introduced to increase awareness of symptom identification and risk mitigation techniques among athletes, coaches, and support staff.

Training in the new protocols has already been rolled out to more than 70% of athletes and coaches on GB Snowsport’s World Class Programme, with remaining personnel expected to complete the new training requirements over the coming weeks.

Following their introduction within the World Class Programme, the enhanced protocols and education modules will also be rolled out to all athletes competing under licences issued by GB Snowsport, meaning all British athletes competing at international levels will be subject to some of the sport’s most sophisticated protection techniques.

Additional, more stringent measures have also been introduced for all athletes under 19 years of age providing enhanced care for younger skiers and snowboarders, including an extended return-to-snow period taking at least 29 days from the point of suspected concussion or unassessed fall or impact.

Head injuries leading to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), resulting from either impact to impact to the body which causes force to go through the skull into the brain, are one of the most commonly reported injuries at all levels of skiing and snowboarding. The introduction of these new protocols is intended to protect skiers and snowboarders from both short and long-term risks associated with these specific forms of injury.

The development of these new measures has been led by the GB Snowsport Chief Medical Officer and a team of specialist sports scientists from GB Snowsport and the English Institute of Sport. The measures represent the first head injuries protection protocols designed specifically to address risks associated with training and competing in skiing and snowboarding disciplines and take account of a wide range of modelled and recorded factors particular to the sport.

GB Snowsport will monitor the impact of the new measures throughout the 2021/22 season and will continue working to introduce new athlete welfare and protection measures on an on-going basis.

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