On July 1 2019, Ontario enacted 'Rowan's Law' making it mandatory for all sports organizations to:
1. ensure that athletes under 26 years of age, parents of athletes under 18, coaches, team trainers and officials confirm every year that they have reviewed Ontario's Concussion Awareness Resources
2. establish a Concussion Code of Conduct that sets out rules of behaviour to support concussion prevention
3. establish a Removal-from-Sport and Return-to-Sport protocol
Saugeen Shores Minor Hockey Association therefore requires that players, parents, and bench staff all sign the SSMHA Concussion Code of Conduct before going on the ice.
Who was Rowan Stringer?
Rowan Stringer loved rugby. A competitive and keen athlete, she was captain of her high school’s team. Tragically, in May 2013, 17-year old Rowan died as the result of head injuries she sustained while playing rugby. In the week before her last game, Rowan was hit twice while playing, likely sustaining a concussion after each blow. Her concussions went unreported, and she continued to play. Rowan suspected something wasn’t right—she texted a friend about her condition and used Google to search for information about concussions. When she was hit again in her final game, Rowan suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome—catastrophic swelling caused by a second injury to a brain still healing from previous trauma. Rowan collapsed on the field on May 8, 2013, and died four days later.