Head injury risk campaign is launched

Head injury risk campaign is launched

The parents of a teenager who died after taking knocks to the head playing rugby are helping to launch a campaign to raise awareness about concussions.

Benjamin Robinson, who was 14, suffered the injuries during a school rugby game in January 2011 but was allowed to carry on playing.His family and friends are backing the 'Recognise and Remove' scheme, which will see hundreds of thousands of posters and leaflets distributed to sports clubs and schools highlighting the importance of knowing the signs of concussions to save lives.Benjamin's father, Peter Robinson, told UTV he hopes that the playing environment for children will become safer if more people are aware of the dangers of a concussion."We have learned from Ben's death that a mismanaged concussion can be fatal," he said."Especially with children we have to highlight the dangers because the brain isn't fully developed yet so they're more prone to concussion-type injuries, so if in doubt sit them out and that's the message we are trying to get across, that it's not worth risking - recognise and remove at all times."The government campaign was launched on Wednesday by Education Minister John O'Dowd and Sports Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín at The Dub in Belfast.Mr O'Dowd, of Sinn Féin, said: "We are here today as a result of the determination of Ben Robinson's family to raise awareness of concussions."We are reaching over half a million leaflets, from P6 right through to year six, parents, teachers and coaches ensuring everyone is aware of the dangers of concussions."A number of high profile figures from local sport also attended, including Ulster Rugby's Ruan Pienaar, Tyrone footballer Joe McMahon, Belfast Giants General Manager Todd Kelman and Irish Football Association Elite Performance Director Jim Magilton.Jim Magilton said: "A young person is always going to want to play on but this has brought awareness to everyone in sport - Ben is going to leave a real legacy."

© UTV

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