The Impact is a web experience designed to change the conversations about concussions in all levels of athletics. Our goal is to increase the amount of athletes that seek out and receive care immediately after a concussion occurs and to foster an athletic community that supports other athletes before, during and after this care.
Our website is built using a PhP Wordpress theme in which we include, vidoes of athlete interviews, modules on the consequences of concussions, and athlete narratives that give a first person experience to reporting of concussions. Through this story telling approach we hope to reach collegiate athletes on a more personal level.
This is “the annual national estimate of reported concussion rates in NCAA sports during the 2009-10 to 2013-14 academic years.”
Women’s soccer rates 6.3 and football takes 6.7. Women’s Ice Hockey is 7.5, while Men’s Ice Hockey rates a little higher with a number of 7.9. Wrestling is the hardest “hit” with a rate of 10.9.
Overall only 50 percent of all concussions that occur are being reported, so that means half of all athletes go unnoticed and untreated for their concussions.
Sustaining a concussion can be an incredibly frustrating setback and requires a hard recovery process for any athlete. The lack of a visibly physical injury to the body is a huge piece of the stigma surrounding the reporting of concussions. A prevalent pattern is that “many athletes tend to deny concussion symptoms because the culture of athletics encourages athletes to be tough and play through the pain” ( Echemendia 2012).There is a culture of reluctance to report concussions among athletes, because once it is known, it legally becomes a problem that a coach cannot ignore.
Concussions can cause short and long term memroy loss as well as trouble focusing, balancing. LOng term effects can result in a constant headache and extre sensitivity to loud sounds. Some studies have found multiple concussion in a lifetime to be linked to a disease called Chronis Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE is a degenerative disease in which the brain of the afflicted slowly atrophies and loses mass, while other areas become enlarged. Symptoms of the disease include erratic behavior, memory loss, impaired motor functions, mood swings and a gradual onset of dementia.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
The NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association. The association focuses on seven core values that cover everything from excellence in academics to providing a culture that fosters “equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds.” The ultimate stated goal of NCAA is to maintain the “well-being and lifelong success of college athletes.”
There are currently 1,121 college and universities that are divided in three divisions within NCAA. Division 1 makes up thirty-two percent of the NCAA with 346 schools. Division 2 makes up 28% of the NCAA with 207 schools, while Division 3 takes 40% of the NCAA with 439 schools. The NCAA has seven specific focuses for athletes’ well-beings. One of the points is “keeping heads healthy.”
Dr. Julianne Schmidt
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the U.S. Department of Defense are partnering with UGA’s Kinesiology department and Grady College in an ambitious concussion study dubbed the “Mind Matters Challenge.” With the discovery of a degenerative brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the brains of professional athletes, a national discussion has been sparked concerning the head health of athletes. They want to create a web platform that will increase concussion reporting in collegiate athletes across Division I-III schools.
GRADY COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION
Dr. Welch Suggs
Dr. Suggs aided us throughout the project in the gathering of background research to implement into the core of our project, focusing on what student athletes would respond to in regard to increasing their concussion reporting. He also helped secure interviews with past UGA athletes to include in our project. He along with other Grady students filmed our student athlete interviews and passed along b-roll for us to use in our video module.
Web Designer/ Client Relations
Sophomore, Journalism Major
Senior, Entertainment and Media Studies Major
Editor/ Communications Cordinator
Senior, Journalism Major
Project Presenter/ Researcher
Senior, Theatre Major