Harper Government invests in sports and recreation injury prevention

Initiative to tackle head injury risks to children and youth in sports
(MONTREAL) – The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), and Senator Larry Smith today announced funding to support injury prevention in sports and recreation among children and youth. With head injuries in professional sports in the news as of late, the Government of Canada is acting on a prevention strategy with a focus on young people involved in amateur sport. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.
“Sport and recreation activities contribute to a significant number of injuries among children and youth, yet many of those injuries are predictable and preventable,” said Minister Lunn.  “That’s why we’re investing in initiatives to reduce injuries while creating the conditions for active and safe play.”
“Everyone has a role to play in preventing injury and helping children and youth have the healthiest possible start in life,” said Senator Smith. “Reducing the number and severity of injuries that occur in sports and recreational activities is not only possible, it’s imperative.”
The Government of Canada is providing $5 million over two years to support injury prevention initiatives that reach Canadian children and youth in the communities where they live and play.  With a focus on preventing major injuries such as concussions, drowning and fractures, this new investment will leverage the work and networks of non-governmental organizations to promote the safety of children and youth in high-participation activities such as hockey, snow sports, cycling and water sports.
"Hockey Canada applauds the government of Canada for this initiative,” said Bob Nicholson, President and CEO of Hockey Canada. “To keep our children engaged in an active lifestyle, we all have a responsibility to provide them with a healthy, safe and fun environment."
Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Executive Director of Think First also celebrated the Government’s investment.  “Increasing awareness of the risk of injuries in sports and recreation and ways to prevent them is an important step in helping children and youth participate safely, and brings us closer to diminishing the number of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries in Canada.”
The health and safety of children and youth is a priority of the Harper Government. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program has invested $500 million in community recreational facilities across Canada over a two-year period. This national initiative has provided a temporary economic stimulus which has reduced the impact of the global recession while renewing, upgrading and expanding recreational infrastructure in Canadian communities.
Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health and of Health Promotion and Healthy Living and Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation have endorsed a Declaration on Prevention and Promotion, agreeing to work together and with others to make the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury a priority. Ministers have also committed to working together to make the environments where children live, learn and play more supportive of physical activity. Promoting active and safe play builds on these commitments to ensure the health and safety of Canada’s children and youth.