Canterbury study tackles collisions in junior rugby players
#Philanthropy@UC A world-leading University of Canterbury (UC) trial aims to tackle collisions in junior rugby and collision-related injuries on the rugby field.
University of Canterbury Professor Nick Draper (left) invited players from the Prebbleton Rugby Football Club Senior Girls’ team to join his study into the effects of collisions in the sport. Team members Izzy Scovell and Hanna Alsop (in headgear) are keen to be involved and have the support of Head Coach Kevin Scovell.
With funding from the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation and the Neurological Foundation and other supporters, the study involves players from the Prebbleton Rugby Football Club Under-17 Senior Girls’ team and junior male players at the Waihora Rugby Club in Tai Tapu.
Lead researcher Professor Nick Draper aims to better understand collisions in junior rugby. His study also explores the possible health consequences of collisions on young brains and the potential of rugby headgear to reduce collision forces.
Professor Draper, who is an experienced junior rugby coach and father of three young rugby-playing sons, says the study is timely given rising concern from parents and the rugby union community about health risks associated with head collisions.
“There are parents who are choosing not to let their children play rugby as more concussion cases come to light, and I think as researchers and as a university, we have a responsibility to the community to better understand collisions in junior rugby,” he says.