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Physical Safety

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Physical Safety

Sport and exercise are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, there is the possibility of injury when taking part. Injuries and illnesses can lead to an inability to participate, loss of training and competition time, the decision to quit the sport entirely and potential long-term health effects.

Addressing the issues and providing education around prevention strategies is important to supporting healthy and successful participant development and performance. It is important for everyone to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms and what to do if an injury or illness occurs. Similarly, there are signs when physical safety is compromised and could be considered physical maltreatment. viaSport is committed to increasing education and awareness to ensure athlete safety remains a top priority.



Concussions are the most common form of head injury caused by an impact or forceful motion of the head or other part of the body, resulting in rapid movement of the brain within the skull.

Concussions can occur while participating in any sport or recreational activity. Since the circumstances under which a concussion can be sustained are so varied, it’s important for all coaches, parents, and athletes to be aware of the signs, symptoms, and what to do if a concussion occurs.

Learn all about concussion recognition, management, and recovery at CATT Online (link to If a person has a suspected concussion, they should NOT return to sport or activity and should be seen by a medical professional and/or monitored for delayed symptoms for 48 hours.

Do you need to quickly assess a potential concussion? If you do, follow the CATT Online Concussion Pathway (link to )


Injury prevention:

Engaging in sport and recreational activity on a regular basis can improve your physical and mental health. Your risk of injury varies depending on the activity, but it is important to know that injuries can and sometimes do happen. Be informed and learn what you can do to prevent injuries by visiting Active and Safe Central.

If you need to find a sports physician or a physical therapist near you, you can search the Sport Med BC Practitioner Database.


Illness prevention:

Being active regularly can support a healthy immune system, which is a great reason to play a sport.

Sports and recreational activities all have different environments and group sizes - what they all have in common is the desire to keep each other healthy and safe. Stay aware of what communicative  illnesses are common at the moment in your area by checking the public health alerts and guidance at HealthLink BC ( )


Physical Maltreatment:


According to the BC Universal Code of Conduct, there are situations where a lack of physical safety in sport would be considered physical maltreatment. These would include:

  • Hitting, kicking, shaking, pushing, poisoning, burning, biting, scalding, drowning, or any other method of physical harm;
    • Forms of contact that are part of the normal game (such as hitting in combat sports) are not included.
  • Not letting athletes drink or eat, or go to the toilet;
  • Encouraging participants to use alcohol, drugs or harmful substances;
  • Requiring an athlete to participate when injured;
  • Applying sanctions that involve inflicting pain, such as using exercise as punishment

You can learn more about how to tell if a behaviour is ok or not here.