Camogie Association is working to ensure players' safety and health

Young players are now back training with adults returning on May 10
Camogie Association is working to ensure players' safety and health

Robyn Lowry, Weronika Derdowska, Julie McCarthy Coade and Matilda Goggin, Glen Rovers Camogie U14s return to training after lockdown on Monday. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE Camogie Association is very proactive in keeping players safe, well and injury-free and in recent months announced a lot of initiatives for player and coaches to make them more aware.

The Injury Prevention Programme is an injury prevention warm-up based on the GAA activate warm-up. It was developed by researchers in Dublin City University School of Health and Human Performance in collaboration with the Camogie Association.

The programme consists of three phases, phase one is composed of running, cutting and landing exercises, phase two is composed of strength and balance exercises and phase three is composed of agility and power exercises. In phases one and three coaches should encourage players to move in multiple directions and include specific skills throughout such as striking, hand-passing and roll/jab lift.

The camogie early movers, U8 to U12, rapid movers, U13 and U14, and mature movers, U15 and U16, programmes are warm-ups designed for underage players. These warm-up exercises help players build strength, coordination and develop good movement and providing them with a solid foundation that is specific to each stage of their development based on the long-term player-athlete development model. 

The exercises are not seen as a replacement for current warm-up procedures, rather it is suggested that the exercises can be introduced over time as deemed appropriate by the coach.

It is important to note that as players mature at different rates, coaches are encouraged to implement the programme as they deem most appropriate for their players.

 Aoife O'Halloran takes on some water during training. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Aoife O'Halloran takes on some water during training. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

While it is not always possible to detect this concussion it is always better to err on the sides of caution and implement the protocols as this is a brain injury that easily be can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the player’s head or body.

A player will have onset of short-lived signs and symptoms however, in some cases, the signs and symptoms of concussion may take several minutes or hours or even days. This is an injury that must be taken extremely seriously as there is potential for brain injury with children and adolescents at most risk.

The Camogie Association reaffirms its position that if there are any signs leading to a suspicion of a concussion for a player at any level or any age, the player should be removed immediately from play and not return to action on the same day. The player should be medically assessed and not return to full-contact play without prior medical approval, the theme should be ‘If in doubt, sit them out’.

Research has shown that a player stopping immediately following a potential concussive impact reduced the players’ recovery time when compared with those who remained in games and required a longer spell out of action before making a full recovery.

The Camogie Association, GAA and LGFA have brought out an excellent document of guidelines in relation to concussion management. All players suspected of having a concussion, must have adequate rest with no activity of at least 48 hours and then must follow a gradual return to play protocol. Players must receive written medical clearance from a doctor and present to the person in charge of the team before returning to full-contact training.

Players should not return to full contact training/matches for at least 15 days from when the injury has first been diagnosed. It is recommended that the gradual return to play protocol should take at least 14 days.

Concussions can occur without a loss of consciousness and so it is important to recognise the other signs and symptoms. Some symptoms may develop immediately while other symptoms may appear gradually over time so monitoring of players for minutes, hours and days after the injury is an important aspect of concussion management.

All our players are precious and everyone, no matter what their ability, is important, let’s all ensure we keep them all safe and well while in our care.

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