Health and Kinesiology Department to use $1.6 million grant for concussion research

Holly Sawyer

The Health and Kinesiology Department at Georgia Southern University received a 1.6 million dollar grant to continue concussion research in July of 2017.

Researchers will study the prevalence of concussions in youth soccer and football teams and work with the community recreation leagues of Bulloch County, Bryan County and Savannah United.

“We believe that taking the time to talk about concussion reporting and sportsmanship with all parties involved in athletics will promote a safer sport culture, along with maintaining a high level of accountability across all those involved,” Tamerah Hunt co-Investigator and site principal investigator for the grant said.

Through an educational approach known as One Team, GS will partner with local athletic trainers to lead Safety Huddles to discuss concussion and sportsmanship education.

After coaches and staff have been trained on leading safety huddles, the behavior of coaches, parents, and players will be examined for change in attitudes toward safety and good sportsmanship.

Hunt said that most youth leagues don’t receive as much medical attention as high school and college level sports.

“We really do hope to change the culture of youth sports. We want everyone to buy in to the importance of concussion reporting and the effect of sportsmanship on injury and overall well being though sports,” Hunt said.

The three year program aims to promote a safer sport culture and engage the community in learning more about concussions.

“It really does take a village to change a culture and we hope by embracing the community, everyone can support the importance of concussion reporting and education,” Hunt said.

The program is currently looking for students interested in research to participate in collecting data and community engagement, as well as community partners with local soccer and football clubs.

Anyone who is interested in joining the research can contact Hunt at [email protected] for information about joining.

Holly Sawyer, The George-Anne candidate, [email protected]