I fully recognise the importance of ensuring athlete safety. Athlete welfare is paramount. Various organisations have concussion and head injury guidelines for their sports, which stress the importance of ensuring the health and well-being of the athletes.
However, as neither I nor Sport Ireland have a statutory role or remit with regard to monitoring, reviewing, or ensuring consistency between, the safety standards in use by, or applicable to, National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), the question of introducing a standardised concussion policy for all sports does not arise. Responsibility for athlete safety and participants rests with the individual National Governing Bodies of Sport. The approaches taken in each sport in relation to concussion are accordingly a matter for the NGBs themselves with cognisance being taken of the risk profile of the particular sport concerned, that sport’s collective experience and the medical expertise within the relevant sport.
NGBs must, of course, abide by Health and Safety legislation and should have regard to any guidance issued by relevant statutory agencies. The safety of all those involved in sport is of paramount importance, whether as participants, competitors, spectators, volunteers or workers.