Each year, the last Wednesday in September is recognized as Rowan’s Law Day – a day intended to raise awareness about concussion safety in sports.
Rowan Stringer was a 17-year-old Ottawa rugby player who died tragically in spring 2013 from a condition known as second-impact syndrome (catastrophic swelling of the brain). Rowan is believed to have experienced three concussions over six days while playing high school rugby. She was concussed but didn’t know that her brain needed time to heal. Her parents, her teachers or her coaches also didn’t know that she had sustained any concussions.
Today, in recognition of Rowan’s Law Day, our government is advocating for concussion safety for all Canadians by elevating for discussion among provinces a coordinated National Concussion Awareness Strategy. Ontario is encouraging other jurisdictions across Canada to take action to increase concussion safety for amateur athletes by passing legislation similar to Rowan’s Law.
We encourage you to join the conversation. Show your support for #RowansLawDay by promoting concussion safety through a tweet, Facebook or Instagram post. Ontario is raising concussion awareness to help protect our athletes so they can carefully return to play as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- This year, Rowan’s Law Day is being recognized on Wednesday, September 30 in memory of Rowan Stringer who died as a result of sustaining multiple concussions while playing high school rugby. No one knew she had a concussion and that her brain needed time to heal.
- Concussions represent more than 1 in 5 Ontario student injuries treated by a physician or nurse practitioner.
- Knowing what to do if a concussion happens – whether you’re an athlete, a student, a parent, a coach, an official, or an educator – will save lives.
- Ontario is a world leader in concussion safety and the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass concussion safety legislation.
- Since July 1, 2019, Rowan’s Law has required athletes, parents, coaches, team trainers, and officials to review concussion awareness resources and their sport organization’s concussion code of conduct, where applicable.
- Beginning January 1, 2021, Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety), 2018, (Rowan’s Law) will require amateur sport organizations to establish removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from sport if they have sustained a concussion or are suspected of having sustained a concussion, and ensure that they get medical clearance from a physician or nurse practitioner before they are permitted to return to training, practice or competition.
- Encouraging students and athletes to speak up if they suspect they or a teammate might have a concussion will help change the warrior culture of sport – and instead treat concussions as the serious brain injuries that they represent.
- Ontario is making sport safer and keeping athletes safe. Visit Ontario.ca/concussions for more information.
- Show your support for #RowansLawDay by promoting concussion safety through a tweet, Facebook or Instagram post.