NSGA Member, Rawlings, a Co-Founder of the National Sports Concussion Cooperative
Four stakeholders, including NSGA member company, Rawlings, committed to the quest of reducing the incidence of sports-related concussions announced the formation of a cooperative to bring inter-disciplinary collaboration to concussion research and testing.
The announcement of the National Sports Concussion Cooperative (NSCC) was made by the group's four founding entities: the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), the Matthew Gfeller Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, and Rawlings Sporting Goods.
"The position of the National Sports Concussion Cooperative is clear: Protective equipment manufacturers, scientific researchers, the football community and concerned parents are addressing the concussion issue in a sincere but independent manner," said Dr. Jason Mihalik, PhD, CAT(C), ATC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "The introduction of this group will help create a movement to collectively bring together the best thinking from these and ultimately other stakeholders who have expertise in distinctly different, yet closely related disciplines."
The National Sports Concussion Cooperative will be committed to helping protect athletes from concussions while charting a well-defined course to help reduce concussions in sports. The group aims to accomplish these goals by welcoming qualified thought-leaders – their research and ideas – from across all of the disciplines that are currently working independently on how to reduce the risk of concussions for athletes. To that end, the National Sports Concussion Cooperative will be working in the months ahead to incorporate into the group other organizations from the representative disciplines – plus the medical and clinical care communities – that share the cooperative's commitment to improving the safety of contact sports, specifically football.
NSCC will hold its founding organizational meeting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on May 2, 2011, to develop an agenda by which it will identify the most pressing concussion objectives in sports and set a course for assessing their significance through research and peer review. After the meeting, additional partners will be engaged to consider joining the collaborative effort and finalize the objectives for each stakeholder group.
"Rawlings is committed to helping find solutions that may reduce the risk of concussions," said Robert Parish, Rawlings President and CEO. "We are confident the odds of arriving at that solution are better if multiple disciplines come together to share best thinking and practices."
The founding meeting of the National Sports Concussion Cooperative will take place in conjunction with the Inaugural Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Neurotrauma Symposium to be held in Kenan Football Complex at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 29-30. In addition to holding their internal meeting, representatives of the cooperative are scheduled to participate in the public portion of the symposium as well.
The mission of the Matthew Gfeller Foundation is to help parents prevent, recognize and treat youth sports head injuries. Established by Bob and Lisa Gfeller after their son, Matthew, died of a football-based traumatic brain injury in August 2008, the foundation supports the role athletics can play in the lives of children, but believes that head injuries can be minimized through better equipment, training, diagnosis and early treatment.