Canadian soccer organizations team up with Holland Bloorview on concussion awareness and soccer safety

The Ontario Soccer Association, Toronto Soccer Association and Toronto Football Club have each teamed up with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s concussion centre in collaborations focused on increasing the safety of youth soccer players.

TORONTO, Ontario. (August 18, 2016) – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s concussion centre has launched collaborations with three major Canadian soccer organizations. These collaborations are focused on improving access to concussion education, training for players, parents, and coaching staff, baseline testing, and post-concussion rehabilitation services.

”These collaborations are a commitment to ensuring a safer game for kids to play,” says Dr. Nick Reed, co-director and clinician scientist in Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. “Youth athletes, both at professional and amateur levels, need to be informed about concussion prevention, identification, and recovery strategies. We’re thrilled to work together on this important initiative with three leading soccer organizations for kids at all levels of sport.” Video link

It is estimated that one in five sport-related injuries are concussions. About 200,000 concussions are reported each year in Canada but the true number is likely much higher, as concussions are largely underreported.

In a one-year collaboration, Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre will work with the Toronto Football Club (TFC)’s academy soccer players, to provide a comprehensive baseline testing and follow-up care program that includes the assessment of neurocognitive function, as well as balance, strength and agility. Concussion education and training is another critical part.

“Holland Bloorview is unique in their care, expertise and leadership in concussion. Their body of work and contribution to children’s health and safety is commendable. We are looking forward to working with an organization, that in addition to prevention and follow up care of concussion, values research and understanding the potential of the human mind,” said Toronto FC Director of High Performance Michael Rabasca. “Our academy athletes will have access to the latest best-in-practice standards and solutions related to concussion. This includes education, research, care and outcomes.” Video link

Three-year collaborations with the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) and Toronto Soccer Association (TSA) are also underway, focusing on concussion education, strategies, and awareness campaigns to align players, parents, coaches and trainers on the most up-to-date evidence and resources for concussion prevention, identification and management.The OSA is the governing body for 21 soccer districts, 13 Associate Members and 26 Non-Club Academies across the province. With over 475,000 annual participants, the OSA is one of largest sporting organizations in Canada.

“Partnering with Holland Bloorview is a natural fit for us at the Ontario Soccer Association,” says Johnny Misley, OSA Executive Director. ”We strive to be on the cutting edge of programming for our membership and this partnership both positions us as thought leaders in the soccer community as well as gives us the opportunity to deliver greater educational resources to those in Ontario.” Video link

“The Toronto Soccer Association is very pleased to be collaborating with Holland Bloorview to provide expert information and support in the area of concussion to our 25,000 players, their parents and guardians, and our 26 member organisations. We see this agreement as an important part of our objective of providing a "positive play" environment for our players," says Alan Gould, Executive Director of the TSA. Video link (with TSA-spokesperson Jacques Konig)

Learn more about Holland Bloorview's concussion centre.

Media contact:

Michelle Stegnar
Senior Communications Lead
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
T: 416-425-6220 ext.3497 | E: