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NU wears purple for concussion awareness


Community leadership and the promotion of health and wellness through physical activity are key aspects of Nipissing’s Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program. Each was on display last week when the BPHE students and faculty partnered with Nipissing University Athletics gathered in support of #RowansLawDay, wearing purple to demonstrate their shared commitment to concussion education.

Rowan’s Law:

Rowan Stringer loved rugby. A competitive and keen athlete, she was captain of her high school’s team. Tragically, in May 2013, 17-year old Rowan died as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unreported, and she continued to play. Rowan suspected something wasn’t right—she texted a friend about her condition and used Google to search for information about concussions. When she was hit again in her final game, Rowan suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome—catastrophic swelling caused by a second injury to a brain still healing from previous trauma. Rowan collapsed on the field on May 8, 2013, and died four days later.

In March of 2018, the Ontario government passed a law known as Rowan’s Law. Designed to protect athletes and to educate parents/guardians, coaches and officials about the dangers of head injuries, it is the first law of its kind in Canada and will benefit both athletes and non-athletes.

Rowan's Law is also about education. By increasing concussion awareness and knowledge, we can change Ontario's culture around sports, physical activity and injury.  Rowan's Law will make it easier for those who experience concussions to SPEAK UP, get the help they need, and take the time necessary for recovery, with the support of everyone around them.

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