Injury workshops to help Winter Games volunteers

SportMedBC is holding a Northern Safe Sport Tour to get volunteers prepared for medical situations during the Canada Winter Games

Paul Dwyer was at a lacrosse game recently when a player was suddenly injured in front of the net. Dwyer jumped into action, doing a quick sideline assessment and searching for early signs of a possible concussion.

“It was enough contact that I was concerned there would be signs of a concussion,” said Dwyer, manager of safety and event services with SportMedBC. “If he showed some of these signs, I would have kept him from play and did a more thorough investigating into the injury. But he ended up being okay.”

With the upcoming 2015 Canada Winter Games fast approaching, SportMedBC is holding a Northern Safe Sport Tour to get volunteers prepared for medical situations they may face during the Games.

“The tour is meant to provide education and training opportunities for people all across the North,” said Alison Cristall, executive director with SportMed BC. “The Games are coming and they’re going to need this huge medical volunteer force . . . our courses offer a foundation in terms of what are the basic pieces you need to look for with any kind of injury.”

There will be two courses offered in September.

The concussion management workshop will dispel myths surrounding concussions and teach people what defines a concussion, how to recognize the signs and symptoms, and what steps to take when you suspect someone is experiencing a concussion.

The SportSmart workshop is a fast-paced course for coaches, parents and athletes that focuses on injury prevention, such as how to properly warm up and cool down after a sport, stretching exercising and strengthening tips, and promoting better performance.

According to Dwyer, the skills participants will learn will not only help them during the Games, but also in everyday situations.

“You would be surprised how many concussions happen not on the field,” he said. “Just from people having random things happen. So having that knowledge is really valuable when you’re covering high-risk sports like football, lacrosse, or hockey, but just generally when someone might have experienced a concussion is really important.

“People have the misconception that it can only happen in football or hockey, but the reality is, it can happen with a kid who dives into a shallow pool or two kids (colliding) on a playground. It’s very common, so recognizing those signs is very important for everybody,” said Dwyer, who will also be the medical manager with Team B.C. for the Games in Prince George.

Smithers is the fifth stop on the tour throughout northern B.C. The courses will also be offered in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Vanderhoof and Prince George.

The concussion management course runs on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the SportSmart course runs after it from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the town hall.

To register, visit