A concussion in sport report was published by the UK Government on Thursday morning and the news was welcomed by the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA).
In March of 2021, an inquiry into the links between sport and long-term brain injury, the implications for youth sport and funding for further scientific research was announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Also under consideration during the four oral evidence sessions that made up the inquiry was the role of national governing bodies and major sporting organisations. The DCMS committee made a number of key recommendations, including the development of a UK-wide minimum standard definition of concussion to be used across all sport. The Health and Safety Executive have been told to work with sports governing bodies to set up a new reporting framework for sports injury by July 2022, with sports required to report any event that might lead to an acquired brain injury within a year of that.
“We very much welcome the DCMS inquiry and the recommendations that have been published in their 'Concussion in Sport' report today,” PJA Chief Executive Paul Struthers told the committee. “Their recommendations to establish a UK-wide minimum standard definition for concussion that all sports must use and adapt for their sport, a UK wide minimum standard protocol for concussion, a national framework for the reporting of sporting injuries and a single research fund that will coordinate and fund research are particularly important.
“We have been fortunate that racing has been ahead of the game in many ways, thanks to the work of the British Horseracing Authority and its predecessors, and especially racing's former Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Michael Turner and his successor Dr. Jerry Hill.
“However, it is vital that we continue to work closely with the BHA and Dr. Hill to ensure racing's protocols, support, education, advice and aftercare continue to be fit for purpose and serve to protect our members as much as possible.
“We also look forward to working with government, Professional Players Federation members and other stakeholders to ensure these recommendations are implemented.”