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Dr. Jim Dickey and Alexandra Harriss - Ontario Soccer Summit Presenters

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The Ontario Soccer Summit 2017, in addition to being a fantastic development opportunity, will also be witness to the results of a ground-breaking study on concussions. 

The study, entitled “Biomechanical Head Impact Exposure in Youth Soccer, and the Relationship to Cognitive and Brain Function,” monitored male and female athletes for a full soccer season as they participated in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL).

Dr. Jim Dickey and Alexandra Harriss, the study leaders, will be in attendance to discuss the study in-depth. Dickey is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology at Western University. He has been performing field studies of head impact exposure in American football for the past four years.

Harriss is a doctoral student at Western University. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Guelph worked as a Concussion Therapist, and Kinesiologist before engaging in her doctoral studies. Alexandra’s thesis research involves evaluating the head impact exposure in youth soccer, and evaluating whether these head impacts cause changes in cognitive and neurophysiological function.

"OPDL is committed to a holistic approach to player development, that includes the well-being of our players," said Gabriel Assis, Manager of the OPDL. "The Ontario Soccer Summit is the perfect opportunity to present the findings and continue a real discussion about concussions and the impact to high performance sports. The findings will endorse the use of proper heading technique and highlight important facts about magnitude of head impacts."

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The study worked with the Burlington Bayhawks primarily and while there has been considerable research on the long-term effects of concussions on athletes, the study explored the effects of repeated jolts to the head that do not cause acute concussions. 

This research will delineate the relationship between head impact exposure and brain health, with its aim to develop evidence-based criteria for reducing the risk of head injury and future development of neurodegenerative diseases.

The host venue for the Ontario Soccer Summit 2017 is the Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex and Trent University and the event runs March 3-5, 2017.

The Oshawa Civic Centre boasts an international FIFA size 100 metre x 70 metre artificial turf playing field that can be configured into two or four fields for on-field learning.

Trent University, which is steps from the Oshawa Civic Centre, will offer an intimate setting, which is optimal for the immersive Soccer Summit learning experience.

Single-day passes are now on sale for the Ontario Soccer Summit and can be purchased here.

There are reduced rates for those booking groups of 5-20 attendees and even greater discounts for those booking 20 or more.

Also, the 2017 event will feature reduced pricing for youth (under 18 years of age) attendees. In addition, Female Mentorship Program participants, Learning Facilitators and District Administrators all receive special pricing.

Check back regularly on the Ontario Soccer Summit news page for updates on speakers, ticketing and events.

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