NFL funds Calgary research to prevent youth concussion in sport

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WATCH: The University of Calgary has received a major funding boost from an unlikely source, the NFL. As Heather Yourex-West explains, the National Football League is hoping the U of C team can help prevent concussions among youth athletes – Nov 15, 2018

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated the University of Calgary was receiving $18 million in funding for the concussion study. It has since been clarified that the university is receiving $12 million. Global News regrets the error.

The NFL has awarded the University of Calgary an $12-million grant to help fund a new national study on concussion. The Pan-Canadian study will involve student athletes from more than 30 communities across Canada.

“The focus of our program is really about preventing concussions and their consequences in youth sport and we’re going to do that through high schools across Canada,” said Dr. Carolyn Emery, the project’s lead researcher at the University of Calgary.

READ MORE: University of Calgary developing handheld concussion sensor for sideline use

Through the NFL’s “Play Smart, Play Safe” initiative, $35 million USD in funding was allotted to five research centres across North America, the U of C was the only Canadian project selected.

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“We’re working on projects across multiple sports where kids are at a high risk of concussion, so rugby, American football, ice hockey and soccer,” said Emery.

According to Emery, the team’s ultimate goal is to make these sports safer for young athletes. Youth account for more than half of the more than three million concussions annually in North America.

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