8 March 2017
- World Rugby, regions and unions driving game-wide education programmes
- 27,429 doctors and public complete World Rugby concussion education in 2016
- 47,741 Rugby Ready participants complete concussion education in 2016
- World Rugby’s interactive #RecogniseAndRemove concussion App proving popular
World Rugby’s Recognise and Remove concussion education modules were completed by a record number of medics and members of the general public in 2016, as game-wide education delivered in partnership with unions and regions continues to be prioritised.
With education underpinning the international federation’s evidence-based approach to this priority player welfare area, completions of dedicated face-to-face courses and the interactive module at www.playerwelfare.worldrugby.o
The fully-interactive online module involves symptom education, practical scenarios and video, with each successful completion resulting in a certificate. It is a key strategy of World Rugby's holistic approach to concussion awareness and education, which also includes mandatory face-to-face education and training for players, coaches, team management and team doctors, guidance for general public and educational posters in multiple languages and the social media-driven #RecogniseAndRemove educational videos and messaging featuring rugby stars.
Concussion education is also included as mandatory modules within World Rugby's Rugby Ready programme, which has been rolled out to almost 345,000 members of the rugby family globally since 2007 with 47,741 completions of online and face-to-face courses in 2016. This is in addition to the millions who have been educated through dedicated national member union programmes around the world.
A further 3,000 members of the public downloaded the World Rugby concussion education App, underscoring rugby’s continued commitment to changing concussion culture.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Concussion education, prevention, management and research sits at the heart of our player welfare strategies aimed at protecting players at all levels of the sport and I would like to thank unions for the full commitment and excellent programmes.
"We continue to drive cultural change in our sport and, working in full collaboration with leading independent experts and unions, we are educating the symptoms of concussion, highlighting the dangers of ignoring the symptoms and encouraging all to recognise and remove."
World Rugby and its unions continue to prioritise concussion within player welfare strategies and the federation has commissioned independent research into the long-term effects of concussion in rugby as well as continuing to evaluate the head injury assessment protocol, which has successfully improved the recognition of concussive events as well as improving protection of elite players by significantly reducing the number of concussed players returning to play following their head injury. This approach has driven a reduction from 56 per cent prior to its introduction in 2012 to 4.5 per cent at Rugby World Cup 2015, supporting World Rugby’s Recognise and Remove policy.
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery added: "While education continues to underpin all that we do in the important area of concussion, we are committed to delivering an evidence-based approach to concussion prevention and management, consulting and partnering with leading field experts and our member unions to deliver the best-possible concussion prevention and management support for all players.
“Initiatives in 2016 included further education of medical staff in Japan and the adoption of the HIA process across 22 elite competitions, which reflects the committment of our member unions in this important area. The worldwide adoption of World Rugby’s tournament player welfare standards, which features six mandatory concussion elements, is also another significant step forward for player welfare in our sport.”
For further information on World Rugby's concussion education programmes and public guidance visit www.playerwelfare.worldrugby.o