Teens start concussion support club for injured students
Support group at Glebe Collegiate Institute started by 2 students this spring
Two Ottawa teenagers have spearheaded a concussion club at their high school to support students who have suffered head injuries.
Rowan Harris and Tim Austen spent months recovering from head injuries they suffered while playing sports.
Though they're both recovered and playing sports again, their idea is to help other teens who are going through the same thing.
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Austen was concussed in a cycling accident and missed competing in a ski season.
"I think one of the hardest things was watching that year, watching everyone race, watching everyone have fun, watching everyone chase after their results and goals while you were at home and your goal was not to have a headache," he said.
Pair couldn't find concussion support group
While he was recovering, he commiserated with Harris. She had suffered a pair of concussions in soccer, and for three years she blocked out light and noise that aggravated her headaches and nausea.
The pair couldn't find any support group for teens, so this spring they started their own at Glebe Collegiate Institute.
They meet in the halls, classrooms or out on the sports fields.
"When you know what's going on with each other, it's just easier. And it never has to be like, 'Oh, how do you feel,' when it can just more be understood and just there," Austen said. Harris and Austen start Grade 12 in the fall, and they said they plan to bring in a few speakers. But the concussion club is mainly about hanging out.
"It's such a nice feeling, it's great to just have someone just know what it's like, without having to explain everything all the time," Harris said.
If the concussion club at Glebe gets more members and stability, Austen said they plan on reaching out to other schools with the idea.