San Salvador - ONETEAM Envoys return to El Salvador with focus on expanding the
relationship between the ESA Youth Rugby project and government sports medicine officials.
|Youth Rugby Dir. Felipe Flores with young players|
Now in it's third month of programming, the ESA Youth Rugby Project has grown from zero participants to well over two-hundred. While young community members are learning the sport from local coaches and program manager Felipe Flores, there are development aspects in play off the field as well. "Rugby is a contact sport and while our youth 7's program is focused on speed and passing there will be tackling and the potential for collisions that take place," says Felipe Flores, adding "thanks to ONETEAM Envoy's medical team we are collectively addressing all aspects of sports medicine in a collaborative effort with our nations sports ministry and Olympic Committee sports medicine staff members."
While rugby is a 'contact' sport, Flores points out that a review and broad discussion on concussion protocols is needed in El Salvador. He points to other sports where concussions happen as proof that El Salvador needs to catch up. "We have hard court sports like: basketball, volleyball, martial arts and open field sports like soccer that all suffer from concussions, so it's imperative that we create a discussion with medical professionals." says Flores.
ONETEAM Envoy's Laila Powers M.D. heads up a team of American physicians who are committed to ensuring that El Salvador's sports medicine team members have all the subject matter expertise available to them. "It's not an issue of our physicians knowing more, it's about creating open lines of communication so that we can be as collaborative as possible," says Doctor Powers, adding "programs like 'impact' concussion testing and concussion protocols are constantly being updated both in America and around the world, the more professional care givers can share with one another the better."
The ONETEAM Envoy visit will also include meetings with ESA Rugby board members, US Embassy staff members as well as El Salvador Sports Ministry senior leaders. Time will also be spent visiting with the four existing ESA Youth Rugby programs and meeting with officials from two additional cities that have expressed interest in joining the project.