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Canadian Soccer Organizations Team Up With Holland Bloorview On Concussion Education

By OSA News, 08/17/16, 2:30PM EDT


The Ontario Soccer Association, Toronto FC and the Toronto Soccer Association have launched a collaboration with the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to improve access to concussion education, baseline testing, and training for players, parents, coaches and trainers.

”These collaborations are a commitment to ensuring a safer game for kids to play,” says Dr. Nick Reed, co-director of Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. “Youth athletes, both at professional and amateur levels, need to be informed about concussion prevention, identification, and recovery strategies. We’re thrilled to partner on such an important initiative with three leading soccer organizations for kids at all levels of sport.” Video link

It is estimated that one in five sport-related injuries are concussions. About 200,000 concussions are reported each year in Canada but the true number is likely much higher, as concussions are largely underreported.

Three-year collaborations with the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) and Toronto Soccer Associations (TSA) are underway, focusing on concussion education, strategies, and awareness campaigns to align players, parents, coaches and trainers on the most up-to-date evidence and resources for concussion prevention, identification and management.

The OSA is the governing body for 21 soccer districts, 13 Associate Members and 26 Non-Club Academies across the province. With over 475,000 annual participants, the OSA is one of largest sporting organizations in Canada.

“Partnering with Holland Bloorview is a natural fit for us at the Ontario Soccer Association,” says Johnny Misley, OSA Executive Director. ”We strive to be on the cutting edge of programming for our membership and this partnership both positions us as thought leaders in the soccer community as well as gives us the opportunity to deliver greater educational resources to those in Ontario.” Video link

“The Toronto Soccer Association is very pleased to be collaborating with Holland Bloorview to provide expert information and support in the area of concussion to our 25,000 players, their parents and guardians, and our 26 member organisations. We see this agreement as an important part of our objective of providing a "positive play" environment for our players," says Alan Gould, Executive Director of the TSA. Video link (with TSA-spokesperson Jacques Konig)

In a one-year collaboration, Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre will work with the Toronto Football Club (TFC)’s academy soccer players, to provide a comprehensive baseline testing and follow-up care program that includes the assessment of neurocognitive function, as well as balance, strength and agility. Concussion education and training is another critical part.

“Holland Bloorview is unique in their care, expertise and leadership in concussion. Their body of work and contribution to children’s health and safety is commendable. We are looking forward to working with an organization, that in addition to prevention and follow up care of concussion, values research and understanding the potential of the human mind,” said Toronto FC Director of High Performance Michael Rabasca. “Our academy athletes will have access to the latest best-in-practice standards and solutions related to concussion. This includes education, research, care and outcomes.” Video link

To learn more about the Concussion Centre at Holland Bloorview, please visit:

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. We pioneer treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give children with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. Holland Bloorview’s concussion centre is one of the first in the world dedicated exclusively to pediatric concussion.

Ontario Soccer Association

Founded in 1901, The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) is the largest provincial sports organization in Canada. Its members include more than 650 Clubs servicing over 24,000 teams with 380,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 10,000 match officials. The OSA develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders. The OSA also operates League1 Ontario, a provincial professional-amateur men’s and women’s league as well as the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL).

Toronto Soccer Association

The Toronto Soccer Association, (TSA) with headquarters in the City of Toronto, promotes, develops and administers the game of soccer, both indoor and outdoor, in the District. The TSA represents and acts on behalf of the Ontario Soccer Association in the administration of OSA programs within the District, and represents and acts on behalf of its Member organisations and assists them to develop and effectively administer soccer programs.

Press contact

Michelle Stegnar
Senior Communications Lead, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital | T: 416-425-6220 ext.3497 | Email 

Mike Masaro
Manager, Media Relations, Toronto Football Club | T: 416-815-2474 | Email

Ben Rycroft,
Communications Manager, Ontario Soccer Association | T: 905-264-9390 x. 255 | Email

Alan Gould
Executive Director, Toronto Soccer Association | T: 289-839-0617 | Email