Athletic Programs in Independent Schools: Minimizing the Risks

The number of students injured during school athletics has seen a significant increase during the past decade. According to Public Health Canada, playing or training for a sport is a major cause of injury for both boys and girls. Unfortunately, injuries arising from sporting activities are the 3rd most common cause of hospitalization for young Canadians1. Many of these injuries occur on playgrounds or during school athletic programs.

In a 2009 memo to its member schools, the Alberta School’s Athletic Association (ASAA) wrote, “The ASAA strongly recommends that, at minimum, every high school rugby team in Alberta have at least one individual who is coaching or assisting with the school rugby team take the Safe Rugby clinics.” Further on, addressing the issue of what teams Grade 9 students can play on, the memo states, “Any liability or insurance issues related to Grade 9 participation is the responsibility of the school and [its] respective board.2” The above highlights the key challenges that your school faces: namely, to safeguard your students and protect your school from…

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