In May 2013, 17-year-old Rowan Stringer died as a result of a head injury she sustained while playing rugby with her high school team. In the week prior to her final game, Rowan had been hit twice, and likely sustained a concussion each time. These concussions were not recognized, and she continued to play. When she was hit again in her last game, she suffered what is known as Second Impact Syndrome – catastrophic swelling of the brain caused by a second injury that occurs before a previous injury has healed. Rowan collapsed on the field and died four days later in hospital.
A coroner’s inquest was convened in 2015 to look into the circumstances of Rowan’s death. The coroner’s jury made 49 recommendations for how the federal government, as well as Ontario’s government ministries, school boards, and sports organizations, should improve the manner in which concussions are managed in this province.
OWHA CONCUSSION CODE OF CONDUCT
OWHA participants, parents and guardians of athletes who are under 18 years of age, coaches, trainers, officials, bench staff, and all named-insured individuals are required to make an annual electronic commitment and acknowledgement at the time of registration with the OWHA.
ROWAN’S LAW DAY – The Last Wednesday in September
In honour of the memory of Rowan Stringer, "Rowan's Law Day" is commemorated on the last Wednesday in September to raise awareness about concussions in sport. The first Rowan’s Law Day was September 26, 2018.