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Youth rugby league player death a freak occurrence

Youth rugby league player death a freak occurrence
April 9, 2013

An on-field accident that led to the death of a teenage rugby league player has been described as an unlucky chance occurrence by a leading sports injury expert.

Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) spokesman and sports doctor Rob Reid said he had never heard of an Australian dying from a similar injury, stating "I can't think of any other time when this has occurred in sport.

"It's one of the rarest things to happen in sport. It's a tragedy."

The family of 15 year old Jake Kedzlie, switched off his life support yesterday (Monday 8th April) after he was struck in the head during an Under 16s rugby league match in Toormina, south of Coffs Harbour, on Saturday.

The promising teenager, who played for the Sawtell Panthers and was offered a junior contract with the Wests Tigers last year, had tackled an opponent during the first Group 2 game of the season at Rex Hardaker Oval.

During the tackle his head clashed with the knee of his opponent after which he stood briefly after the tackle before collapsing to the ground, where he stopped breathing.

Kedzlie was the grandson of rugby league legend Tommy Raudonikis.

Dr Reid said single-hit injuries could be deadly, particularly in the context of people who were king-hit and then fell to the ground, adding "hitting your head on the concrete and hitting your head on a knee at full speed can do the same sort of damage."

Dr Reid believes that the incident did not justify calls for young people to wear helmets while playing sport, stating "the amount of force is so great that the scrum caps and things like that have never been shown to alter the amount of injury to the brain."

Dr Reid also referenced a 1994 National Health and Medical Research Council review of head and neck injuries in sport that had found no accounts of similar injuries, and indicated that he had not personally heard of similar injuries occurring since then.

Image: Yarra Tigers U16s players pay tribute to Jake Kedzlie.

8th May 2012 - INQUIRY LAUNCHED INTO FREAK HOCKEY DEATH

15th February 2012 - SCHOOL SPORTING INJURIES MASKED BY LACK OF DATA

12th July 2011 - SPORTS INJURIES KEEPING HOSPITAL BEDS WARM 

23rd February 2010 - RUGBY LEAGUE JUNIORS TO BE GRADED BY SIZE 


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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