News release

Expert Panel to Advise Minister on Safety in School Sports

NOTE: More information on members of the Inter-School Sport Safety Review Panel is available at https://www.ednet.ns.ca/sportsafety .

An expert panel has been invited to advise Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, on safety in school sports across the province.

The panel will provide advice on ways to prevent and reduce injuries, including head injuries, in school sports. The group will also look at strategies to promote safety and injury prevention.

“When it comes to inter-school sport, we need the highest possible standards of safety,” said Mr. Churchill. “At the same time, we want conditions that allow as many students as possible to take part and access opportunities to participate.”

The panel will review practices and policies in coaching and training, and protocols on preventing injuries. They will also examine legislation, policies and practices from other areas related to injuries, including concussions.

The panel includes government, provincial and national sport organizations, medical experts, educators and athlete representatives.

The 17-member Inter-School Sport Safety Review Panel includes:

  • Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health
  • Sue Taylor-Foley, executive director, education innovation, programs and services, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Michelle Aucoin, director, provincial services, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
  • Jamie Ferguson, CEO, Sport Nova Scotia
  • Karen Furneaux, athlete representative
  • Dr. John Gillis, emergency physician
  • Jennifer Heatley, project executive, health promotion, Department of Health and Wellness
  • Paul Hunter, director of development, Rugby Canada
  • Dave Jones, regional executive director, Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education
  • Stephen MacNeil, chair, board of governors, Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF)
  • David Napier, president, Basketball Nova Scotia
  • Gerry Post, executive director, Accessibility Directorate
  • Jennifer Russell, executive director, Atlantic Collaborative on Injury Prevention
  • Lori Sigfridson, Tri-County Regional Centre for Education and president, Physical and Health Education Canada
  • Shaquille Smith, athlete representative
  • Carolyn Townsend, director, communications and strategic relations, Sport Nova Scotia
  • Amy Walsh, executive director, Hockey Nova Scotia

The department and NSSAF began work in the spring on a plan to help student-athletes continue playing rugby safely. The plan includes a review of safety in school sports.

The panel met for two days last week and will meet twice more this summer. The group has been asked to report back by Aug. 31.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

An expert panel has been invited to advise Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, on safety in school sports across the province.

The 17-member panel will provide advice on ways to prevent and reduce injuries, including head injuries, in school sports. The group will also look at strategies to promote safety and injury prevention.

Churchill says the highest possible standards of safety are needed for inter-school sport while allowing as many students as possible to participate.

The panel met for two days last week and will meet twice more this summer. The group has been asked to report back by August 31st.

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