SBC News BHA to participate in sports concussion research project

BHA to participate in sports concussion research project

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has called for licensed jump and point-to-point jockeys to participate in research trials examining the effects of concussions. 

The research forms part of a wider project led by the University of Bath titled “investigating vestibular-oculomotor functions following sports-related concussions.”

Jump and P2P jockeys have been called on to participate in the project, as “concussion is recognised as the third most common injury in horseracing”. 

Further to the effects of concussion, researchers will examine the impact of falls on the head and body, which can cause dizziness, balance problems and difficulty with head-eye coordination.

“The research will explore whether Neuroflex virtual reality headsets could be used alongside existing assessment and rehabilitation techniques to improve the way British racing tests head-eye coordination and supports recovery following concussion,” read the BHA’s statement.  

The University of Bath has launched a ‘research homepage’ for licensed jockeys to register their interest in participating in its sports concussion project.  

The impact of concussions and brain injuries have been brought to the forefront of the pro sports agenda, as governing bodies have been ordered to examine the matter and its long-term effects on athlete wellbeing.   

In July, a DCMS inquiry determined that “urgent action is required by government and sporting bodies” to better understand the implications of sports concussions.

The inquiry has called for individual sports bodies to submit a “coherent minimum concussion protocol” to DCMS by 2023.

Leading the inquiry, Committee Chair Julian Knight criticised the Health and Safety Executive UK (HSE) for providing no guidance to professional sports on how to manage and treat athlete concussions.

HSE has been instructed to work with governing bodies to develop a ‘new national framework for reporting sports injuries’ that will require governing bodies to report and document on individual brain injuries suffered by athletes. 

“The protections afforded by the state to workers apply as much to footballers and jockeys as they do to miners and construction workers,” the DCMS report stated.

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