News Release – The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine
The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK supports the need for a National Injury Register to cover all sports in order to identify and inform activities that may pose injury risk. Such a Register would provide key data for Governing Bodies in developing and assessing the effectiveness of injury prevention strategies including, when necessary, changes to the rules of a sport. The Faculty also acknowledges the need to apply accepted sporting risk management principles to age- group sport, including rugby union 1.
The lack of comprehensive injury statistics is a feature of almost all youth sports. Sport related hospital-treated injuries are more than five times more common than road traffic injuries for children aged 15 or younger 2. Road traffic injury prevention is a well-resourced public health issue in the UK, but sports injury identification and prevention is not. The FSEM welcomes opinion and debate on this, including the BMJ article, The unknown risks of youth rugby 3. However, it should also be noted that a growing number of individual sports governing bodies and sporting leagues are currently completing high-quality peer reviewed work in this field 4.
Dr Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine comments:
“There is a clear need in the UK to work towards the set-up of a National Injury Register for sport. This is essential not only for established sports, clubs and teams, but to also encourage and manage sporting and exercise practices for the general public within safe limits. The challenge is identifying how this can be done and how it can be delivered. “The barriers to developing a National Injury Register are principally outside the influence of national governing bodies for sport, therefore we need to look towards relevant organisations, regulatory bodies, colleges, faculties and public health authorities to collaborate and create a solution. Funding will also be an important part of this.”
The FSEM is already supporting and developing research strategies with key partners, such as the National Institute of Exercise and Health, to demonstrate the risks and benefits of sport and exercise to the health of the population.
Funding is now needed to support initiatives like this and the creation of a National Injury Register, in order for popular sport and exercise to be developed and encouraged within safe limits, including youth sport.
1 Fuller and Drawer Sports Med. 2004;34(6):349-56.
2 Finch CF, Wong Shee A, Clapperton A. Time to add a new priority target for child injury prevention? The case for an excess burden associated with sport and exercise injury: population-based study. BMJ Open 2014;4:e005043. doi:10.1136/bmjopen 2014-005043
3 The unknown risks of youth rugby, M Carter, Published 08 January 2015: BMJ 2015;350:h26
4 Palmer-Green DS et al Am J Sports Med. 2013 Apr;41(4):749-55. doi: 10.1177/0363546512473818. Epub 2013Feb 4
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