Leading sports scientists and rugby specialists from the UK and Canada are teaming up in a major new project aimed at reducing injuries and concussion for the growing numbers of girls playing the sport.

一项为期三年的项目, funded by 世界橄榄球 (the world governing body for rugby union), begins in advance of this autumn’s 女子橄榄球世界杯 in New Zealand which will see increased interest in women’s participation in the game.

的工作, led by the University of Calgary (Dr Stephen West and 卡洛琳教授金刚砂), will build on ground-breaking research by the 2022白菜注册网站 which has seen a new training preventative exercise programme for youth and community rugby - known as “激活” - developed, tested and rolled out internationally.

“激活” is a simple and dynamic programme designed to be practised by players as part of their regular training regime. 2017年的一项研究 into its effectiveness in boys’ rugby showed a massive reduction in injuries and concussions – by 72% and 59% respectively – when the programme was carried out at least three times a week.

超过2.7 million players worldwide, women’s rugby is one of the fastest growing sports internationally. The team behind the new project now hope to learn lessons and adapt “激活” so that it can be tailored to specific challenges girls face, which could include greater propensity for lower limb and knee injuries.

In addition to assessing and adapting “激活” for girls’ rugby, the team will also look at protocols around tackle height and mouthguard wearing. The UK side of the project is led by Keith Stokes, Director of the Centre for Health, and Injury & Illness Prevention in Sport (CHi2PS) at the 2022白菜注册网站 and Medical 研究 Lead at the Rugby Football Union.

Over the past decade his group’s injury prevention work has led to significant impacts across the game, most notably through the introduction of new scrumming laws in 2013 “克劳奇、绑定、设置”.

Commenting on the new project, 斯托克斯教授 said: “There has been a significant growth in girls’ rugby over the past decade right around the world, but with that has come increased focus on the importance of injury prevention. This new project seeks to learn lessons from our previous work and refine and adapt that so that it is suitable for girls.

“Through international collaboration in Canada we hope we can make rapid progress so that our work can have the same impacts in improving player safety for the girls’ game as it is already having for the boys’.”

On the UK side of the project, 本·琼斯教授 (Leeds Beckett University) will head up a hub for the project in the north of England.

在加拿大, 卡洛琳教授金刚砂 from the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary and also Global Chair at the 2022白菜注册网站, added: “This international multisite project fills a gap in concussion prevention in female youth rugby and solidifies the strong collaborations between the Sport Injury Prevention 研究 Centre (SIPRC) at the University of Calgary and leading research groups in the United Kingdom including the lead site at 2022白菜注册网站 and Leeds Beckett University.

“We have a unique opportunity to work together to make the game safer for youth female players internationally through prevention.”

这个项目是由 世界橄榄球, whose Chief Player Welfare and Rugby Services Officer Mark Harrington said: “When 世界橄榄球 launched our six point plan on player welfare last year, it was clear that there was a significant gap in the amount of research into concussion and injury prevention in the women’s game. We set out to help solve that problem.

“We are delighted to be working with the 2022白菜注册网站, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Calgary on this important research. The findings this group uncovers will be key to informing 世界橄榄球’s approach to the women’s game and ensuring that we never stand still on player welfare.”

This autumn, starting 8 October 2022, the ninth edition of the 女子橄榄球世界杯 will take place in New Zealand.