Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kicking Concussions

Personal adversity can sometime produce a commitment to change.  Caroline Cohen is a high school student in our town who suffered several concussions in sports activities, the most recently in 2011 during a Memorial Day soccer tournament.  Following that last injury, she was forced to miss school and, eventually, to give up all contact sports.

To help spread the word about concussion awareness, she recently organized a one-day, 3v3 "Kicking Concussions" tournament for U10, U12, and U14 girls in our town.  The proceeds from the tournament were designated to benefit the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, a research institute where they study chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), degenerative brain disease that results from traumatic head injuries.

Caroline noted, "Through this tournament, I hoped to raise money for advanced research in the field, in addition to educating younger players about concussions."

Supported by her friends (Caroline seen here with her buddy Katie Nugent) and some local merchants who offered prizes, the tournament was publicized widely among the town's girls soccer community.

Well, the day was a great success!  Dozens of girls played dozens of games, and they were able to raise over $1000 for the cause.

3 comments:

Mike Register said...

Paul,
As a soccer referee (and fellow blogger), I really enjoy reading your posts.

I think your posts on concussion are especially relevant right now.

I'm wondering if you have seen the recent Frontline film titled "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis".

It is a very disturbing film that has impacting me to such an extent that I can no longer watch NFL games.

It also leaves me wondering how this will impact soccer. My guess is that soccer will eventually go the way of hockey and require headgear for all players. This seems a common sense adaptation, given the state of research on concussion.

Mike Register
InTheOpinionOfTheReferee.com

Paul Levy said...

Hi Mike,

There are mixed feelings about head protectors. Some people feel that it actually results in more aggressive play, as players feel they have protection.

I think it is highly likely that soccer rules will change and prohibit heading for under-14 kids.

Paul

Concussion Connection said...

Wow!!! What a tremendous idea and effort put forth by young Caroline Cohen! As retired soccer players ourselves (due to concussions) we know what it's like to not be able to play the game of soccer. The courage Cohen is displaying is truly awe-inspiring!

We would love the opportunity to connect with her somehow! We would love to share her story with the thousands of current and former athletes that visit our site each week!

Thank you for sharing this! It's inspiring and amazing to see the positives that come out of concussions!

Sincerely,
Lauren Long & Samantha Sanderson
Founders, Concussion Connection
www.concussionconnection.com