This week Snowy Mountains Grammar School was host to some important research taking place in the Cumulative Head Impact area. This forms a larger part of injury prevention in athletes, where researchers are trying to uncover new ways to minimise and prevent head injury.

The project aims to determine whether there is a relationship between performance and cumulative head impact load. Around 30 students undertook a range of tests over the following areas:

  • Visual Perimetry – This test was conducted using technology by NuCoria. For more information, visit their website: nucoria.com .[i]
  • Balance
  • Active Movement Extent Discrimination Assessment Project (AMEDA) – AMEDA technology is a world-first device to allow measurement of an individual’s dynamic proprioceptive ability (the sense that allows us to know where our body is in space and is critical for supporting visual control of movement, maintaining balance, and is necessary for high-level sporting performance) [iii]
  • Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (Scat-3) – A standardised tool for evaluating injured athletes for concussion and can be used in athletes 13 years and older. For more information about this test, view this document: Scat-3  [iv]

Dr Lisa Elkington, the principal researcher, said, “We are really excited to be working with Snowy Mountains Grammar School for our concussion in sport research project. This is a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Sport, the University of Canberra and the Australian National University. The overall aim of the project is to improve the way we diagnose and manage concussions and therefore improve the health and safety of our young athletes. We are especially grateful to Tim Bland for his incredible support and enthusiasm for this important project.” Lisa now flies out to Brazil for the Rio Paralympic Games, where she will be the chief medical officer.

Through this program, SMGS was able to continue our partnership with some leading industry professionals, with whom we, as a school, have worked for the past 10 years. This information and research is important to us in the delivery of some of our co-curricular activities such as snowsports, as we aim to uncover the effects of Cumulative Head Impacts on concentration and effectiveness of students in the classroom.

In terms of preventing concussion while participating in snowsports, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • The most important thing is to ride within your ability
  • Continually monitor fatigue
  • Continually monitor hydration
  • Continually monitor behaviour.

SMGS wishes to thank the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the University of Canberra and the Australian National University, as well as Dr Lisa Elkington, Professor Gordon Waddington and Dr Tracey Dickson. SMGS appreciates this partnership and hopes it continues to grow in the future.

 

 

[i] Visual Perimetry information provided by the University of Canberra

[ii] King-Devick Information provided by the University of Canberra

[iii] AMEDA technology information provided by the University of Canberra

[iv] Scat-3 information provided by the University of Canberra