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The Pre-View: The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre's e-newsletter - Fall 2022 Edition

Some highlights of items we'll be covering in this edition of the Pre-View:
  • The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary is proud to announce that we have been awarded recognition as one of 11 research centres for prevention of injury and protection of athlete health by the International Olympic Committee for 2023-2026. This award is a continuation of our relationship with the IOC since 2009. Read more below.
  • The 2022 Research and Community Engagement (RACE) Symposium took place on September 28th took a full house on the University of Calgary campus. We cover some of the highlights and share a link to the video coverage below.
  • Some of our team were in Amsterdam for the 6th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport
  • The COVID-19 pandemic didn't help in providing regular access to sport and physical activity for high school students.  Dr. Garrett Bullock from the Faculty of Medicine at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, presented a study comparing high school injury incidence prior to and following the COVID-19 pandemic with some interesting findings. Read more in this month's SIPRC Research in Focus
  • An introduction to one of our amazing partners and collaborators The Sports Medicine Council of Alberta
  • Meet the SIPRC team: Dr. Kenzie Friesen, post-doctoral fellow, working with Dr. Reed Ferber and Dr. Carolyn Emery
  • Our regular neuromuscular training tip for coaches, athletes and individuals in the NMT Training Corner. This month we are featuring the "Skate Jumps" exercise
If you have something you'd like to share in the Pre-View get in touch with us at

SIPRC named as the Canadian IOC research centre focusing on prevention of injury and protection of athlete health

The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, has been named 1 of 11 international research centres for prevention of injury and protection of athlete health by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). These 11 research centres will be members of the IOC Medical Research Network (2023-2026). For SIPRC this follows continued recognition since 2009.
SIPRC focuses on the prevention of sport-related injuries and their consequences in youth sport populations through to the elite athlete. Preventing injuries in youth, including concussions, can have a significant public health impact in reducing the burden of injuries and their consequences (e.g., post-traumatic osteoarthritis, reduced levels of physical activity, economic costs, prolonged post-concussion symptoms) over a lifetime. In Alberta, one in three youth will seek medical attention for a sport-related injury this year. One in nine will sustain a concussion.

“I am thrilled to continue our strong international research collaborations in this International Olympic Committee Medical Research Network” says Dr. Carolyn Emery (Professor, Chair of SIPRC, and Canada Research Chair in Concussion) and to continue to prioritize training the next generation of researchers in sport injury prevention who support a significant public health impact in reducing sport-related injuries and their consequences across the lifespan”

The vision of the International Olympic Committee is to Build a Better World through Sport. As an international body with tremendous global influence in promoting health and wellness in sport, the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission recognizes SIPRC in the Faculty of Kinesiology and the University of Calgary as one of the leading sport science research institutes internationally with a focus on prevention of injury and protection of athlete health. This is a testament to the quality of research and reputation SIPRC, the Faculty of Kinesiology, and the University of Calgary hold internationally. 
“I am delighted that we will once more be working with many of the world’s leading experts in sports medicine through these partnerships,” says Professor Uğur Erdener, Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission. “These 11 IOC Research Centres are conducting vital research into athletes’ health and the prevention of sports injuries. The IOC’s desire to keep athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement includes a robust commitment to athlete welfare, and we look forward to partnering with these Centres as they explore new ways to prevent injury in athletes.”

Read more here in the official news release from the IOC.

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2022 Research and Community Engagement Symposium a success!

SIPRC welcomed guests to the 2022 RACE symposium on Wednesday, September 28th in the beautiful MacEwan Conference Centre Ballroom. We were also happy to be able to provide a streamed version of the conference for those joining us online. 

The RACE symposium was broken into two sections: a morning symposium focused on concussion, and an afternoon symposium focused on musculoskeletal injury. Both symposia had a similar format with a series of focused talks followed by a panel discussion featuring panelists including researchers, community partners and those with lived experience. Both panels were moderated by SIPRC trainees. (Click here to see the complete RACE Symposium agenda)

The RACE symposium welcomed as our special guest and keynote speaker, Dr. Garrett Bullock from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Bullock's talk, entitled "COVID-19 and Injury Risk in Youth: What We've Learned" provided a fascinating look at the impacts of the COVID pandemic on the injury rates of high school athletes returning to sport after an extended break due to COVID restrictions. More details about Dr. Bullock's COVID-19 research can be found in our Research in Focus section below. 

As with all of our events, we like to profile the excellent work of our SIPRC trainees whenever possible, and the RACE symposium provided ample opportunity for this through the SIPRC student flash talks where SIPRC trainees gave 24 individual three minute presentations on their research. It was quick, energetic and filled with a host of information about the latest sport injury and concussion science.

At the end of the symposium, we all had a chance to mingle and chat with our community partners at a fantastic networking session held in the ballroom.

Missed the RACE symposium? Never fear, we've got you. We have copies of the AM and PM sessions of the symposium here: AM session or PM session.

See you at RACE 2023!
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Breaking News!

A very hearty congratulations to the following SIPRC trainees who convocated from the University of Calgary on November 10, 2022 :

Megan Critchley PhD
Kyle McCallum PhD
Lauren Miutz PhD
Eric Gibson MSc
Emily Hemming MSc
Linden Penner MSc
Reid Srydiuk MSc
Kenzie Vaandering MSc (President's Award)

Also a special mention to Najratun Pinky for successfully defending her PhD thesis. Congrats Najratun!
The 6th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport was held in Amsterdam, from 27 to 28 October and SIPRC was well represented. Dr. Carolyn Emery, Dr. Kathryn Schneider, Dr. Keith Yeates (members of the expert group), Jason Tabor, and Dr. Stephen West presenting research abstracts. In addition to SIPRC presenters, a contingent of SIPRC trainees were also able to attend and absorb all of the information first hand. Click here to see a complete agenda of the conference sessions.

The conference had two primary objectives. The first objective was to present a summary of new evidence-based summaries that span the spectrum of concussion, from definition to initial management, investigations, treatment, return to play protocols and prevention.

The second objective of the conference was to develop an agreement amongst the expert panel on developing a Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. The resulting consensus document is intended to then be used by physicians and healthcare professionals involved in the care of injured athletes at the recreational, elite or professional level. Proudly, SIPRC's Dr. Kathryn Schneider is one of the co-chairs of the scientific committee tasked with developing and publishing this consensus statement. No small feat!

"This was the premier conference for concussion in sport! For students and trainees attending, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about other research that is happening around the world, as well as provide an opportunity to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old ones." 

Dr. Paul Eliason, Postdoctoral Fellow, SIPRC

The organizing federation for the Consensus Conference was the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and sponsoring federations are the IOC, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), World Rugby (WR), International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). 

SIPRC Research In Focus

The impact of COVID 19 on Injury Risk in Youth

Have you ever taken a break from a physical activity, only to return and quickly get injured? It makes sense when you think about it: your body isn't used to the rigours of physical activity, reflexes aren't as sharp, and our minds may still be trying to get back up to speed in terms of us anticipating things like body contact in sports like football, rugby, hockey and soccer to name only a few.

Dr. Garrett Bullock, PT PhD, from the medical school at Wake Forest University in North Carolina decided to investigate and led a study comparing high school injury incidence prior to and following the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was run in 6 US states, across 172 high schools and almost 100,000 athletes. High schools were matched based on participating in all three sport seasons following the COVID-19 shelter in place period. Results from the study indicated that the prolonged sport stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in increased injury incidence compared to the previous high school academic year.

"School sport is integral to many high school students' motivation and reason for attendance and keeping up grades," say Dr. Bullock. "Creating community informed return to sport programs after abrupt stop and start events is important to reduce risk of injury, adding one more way to keep kids involved in physical activity, sport, and school engagement."

In terms of future implications, high school sports teams, coaches and athletes should consider longer periods of ramp up for training in lieu of future sport stoppages compared to usual preseason training. The data may also have more generalizable implications to other abrupt sport and physical activity stoppage scenarios such as earthquakes and hurricanes. 

Click here to view and download "The Impact of Statewide Limitations of Practice on High School Injury Incidence During the COVID-19 Season: An Ecological Study.

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Meet the SIPRC Team

Dr. Kenzie Friesen

In this edition of "Meet the SIPRC Team", we talk to Dr. Kenzie Friesen, a SIPRC Postdoctoral Scholar working with Dr. Carolyn Emery and Dr. Reed Ferber. Kenzie completed her PhD at Auburn University where she researched biomechanics related to injury among softball pitchers. She then went on to be a postdoctorate fellow at USask where her work covered the “sportspan” involving inclusion and accessibility within sport. Kenzie's work is focusing on instrumented mouthguards to measure head biomechanics and understand concussion injury within team sport athletes. We talk about the how common sport injuries are among dancers, how Meghan's research is helping develop injury prevention strategies, and where she hopes her research will take her. 

Great to talk to you Kenzie. Tell me about your beginnings in sport and it has led you to where you are now at SIPRC?

Kenzie: I have always been heavily involved in sport so whatever path I chose I knew it would be tied to sport in some way. I played collegiate softball in the United States, where I was a pitcher, and I tore my ACL while playing. One of the teams we played against was Auburn University and I got pulled into one of their studies related to my injury and that's where I learned of the biomechanics research being done and it interested me greatly. I love coaching and understanding why the body does certain things, so the biomechanics angle really led me to do my PhD and it's what I'm still interested in to this day.

And was there a benefit to you being a collegiate athlete that helped you understand or appreciate sport injury a little better?
Kenzie: Yes, certainly as a pitcher myself, I knew of the overuse and overload that the repetitive motion of softball pitching has particularly at the shoulder. So, I have tried to stay close to the injury prevention focus in my work, and that's why SIPRC caught my eye, and particularly the work of Dr. Carolyn Emery in injury prevention, so my interests and our relationship is what drew me to Alberta and the University of Calgary.

What is the focus of your postdoctoral position?

Kenzie: I am co-supervised by Carolyn Emery and Dr. Reid Ferber and so it was a great fit in terms of brining in the biomechanics piece and pairing it with the injury prevention side. My focus is looking at mouthguard use to measure head biomechanics and try to understand concussion injuries better in the context of teams and team sports. I typically look and how the body moves and linking that to how and why the body is injured. I'm less familiar with the epidemiological side of things but am excited to learn more here.

You have been here only since September 2022. What have your initial thoughts on SIPRC been so far?

Kenzie: It's a huge operation! There are so many moving parts and so people involved and that's why they are able to do the longitudinal tracking of the athletes and understand risk, exposure, consequences and return to sport. SIPRC can really track the journey from start to finish and that is really impressive. It's been interesting to observe and see where I might be able to fill a gap. I'm excited!

And we are excited to have you here! Thanks for your time Kenzie.

SIPRC Partner in Profile: The Sport Medicine Council of Alberta 

This month we are very pleased to be highlighting the work of The Sport Medicine Council of Alberta (SMCA). A kindred spirit to SIPRC, the SMCA’s mission is to provide information and resources to encourage and support safe and healthy participation in sports and physical activities.

The Sport Medicine Council of Alberta (SMCA) is a nonprofit organization that provides grassroots information on athletic injury prevention and management, sport taping and strapping, sport and mental health, and concussion. SMCA is also an active provider of educational resources, courses, conferences and support material to individuals or organizations who have an interest in the safe participation in sports and physical activity. 

All of this is of course relevant to the work of SIPRC, but of special interest is SMCA's participation in concussion awareness and guidance to the broader public in Alberta. The SMCA and members of the Alberta Concussion Alliance (ACA) have focused on bringing together professionals in Alberta to provide strategic direction to Albertans about concussion information, and the prevention of and safe recovery from sport and recreation-related concussions.

The SMCA and the ACA with funding from the Government of Alberta established the Alberta Concussion Awareness Day to coincide with Ontario’s Rowan’s Law Day. SIPRC was happy to partner with SMCA this year to draw attention to special events such as a concussion webinar SMCA put on with the aid of Dr. Marty Mrazik from the University of Alberta to coincide with the 2022 National Concussion Awareness Week from September 25 to October 1.  Alberta Concussion Awareness Day was established to increase concussion awareness by providing information and encouraging action across Alberta. Concussion Awareness Day is for everyone with a role in healthy active living – sport and recreation participants, parents, coaches, organizers, educators and more!

“We are really thrilled to be working and collaborating with sport injury and concussion partners like SIPRC because we know that in order for any of us to achieve of goals of reducing the burden of sport injuries and concussions in Alberta, it has to be a team effort”  says Lindsey Ter Horst, Executive Director of the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta. "We look forward to working more with SIPRC in the future, and also helping Albertans play and participate in the sports and physical activities they love for a long time to come!"

To learn more about the Sport Medicine Council of Alberta please click on the link below.

The NMT Training Corner 

"Skate Jumps" 

In each issue of The Pre-View, we will be highlighting an exercise that you can use as part of a neuromuscular training (NMT) warm-up program before sport and activity; whether it be with athletes you coach, PE students you teach, or for yourself. NMT warm-ups are programs that include aerobic, balance, strength and agility components. Research has shown that these programs are effective at reducing the risk of injury in youth sport by 30-70% when compared to more traditional warm-up programs that include aerobic, static and dynamic stretching components. We recommend using NMT warm-up programs before all practices, games, training sessions, and PE classes.

This issue’s featured NMT exercise is ‘Skate jumps’, which works on knee control during a deceleration movement. This jump variation involves a weight transfer from one leg to the other. This exercise can be progressed by increasing jump distance, jump height or speed.

Hit ‘play’ on the image below to view the exercise, or visit to watch the full video!

Upcoming conferences and meetings


Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium / Consortium Canadien de Recherche en Traumatisme Craniocérébral
January 25-27, 2022 Lake Louise, AB

Next Generation Rehabilitation Interventions for Pediatric Concussion: A Multi-disciplinary International Research Symposium
February 13,14, 2022 University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
The goal of the symposium:  To bring together multidisciplinary scientists, clinical researchers and trainees to discuss the next generation of rehabilitation interventions for pediatric concussion/mTBI by:
  • Stimulating new ideas through an exchange of knowledge
  • Identifying challenges and opportunities,
  • Catalyzing new collaborations and planning new research directions/activities
Do you have any special events, news or resources you think others might like to know about? We would be happy to consider adding to an upcoming edition of The Pre-View.
Get in touch with us at to share your news!

The University of Calgary Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) is committed to achieving a 25% reduction in youth sport and recreational injuries in Alberta by 2025. We are one of 11 International Research Centres for the Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health supported by the International Olympic Committee. We will achieve our injury reduction goal by conducting world leading research on injury prevention in youth sport and recreation providing a vibrant and supportive learning environment for faculty, trainees, students and staff building collaborative partnerships with community partners, decision-makers, youth and parents

We focus on reducing the risk of injury in sport and recreation, with particular emphasis on injury prevention for children and adolescents. In collaboration with our community partners, we aim to develop and implement injury prevention and management strategies, with the goal of promoting healthy, lifelong physical activity participation.

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