On Monday, September 23, Grade 7 to 10 student leaders will be participating in the Rowan’s Law Day: Student Concussion Education Symposium. The leadership workshop will bring awareness and insight from inspiring educators, community leaders, coaches and family members to learn about the seriousness of concussions and the importance of prevention and management.
“Through this very special symposium with our community partners, student participants will gain skills and knowledge to be effective leaders on the issue of concussion awareness, prevention and management,” says Jeff Upton, Lakehead Public Schools Education Officer. “Following this day, our student leaders will then bring back what they learned back to their respective schools.”
The workshop will feature a number of activities facilitated by the following speakers:
- Jeff Upton, Lakehead Public Schools Education Officer
- Dr. Dave McKee and Katelynn Zen, Lakehead University Concussion Clinic
- Laura Prodanyk and Judi Marton – Thunder Bay District Health Unit
- Local athletes and coaches
Rowan’s Law, recently passed by the Ontario Government, is designed to protect amateur athletes and educate coaches on the dangers of head injuries. It is the first concussion law of its kind in Canada. Rowan’s Law Day was established in 2018, and will be observed across Ontario on the last Wednesday in September each year. The purpose of Rowan’s Law Day is to increase concussion education awareness, especially in schools.
Who was Rowan Stringer?
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. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unrecognized, and she continued to play, perhaps feeling the pressure to play and with the hope of leading her team to victory. 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.