The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) has called for the creation of a National Sporting Injury Register in the UK.
The organisation believes that a national register covering all sports would help identify and inform activities that may pose an injury risk.
Such a register would provide important data for the governing bodies of sports in developing and assessing the effectiveness of injury prevention strategies – including, when necessary, changes to the rules of a sport, the FSEM argued.
In particular, the Faculty pointed to youth sports as an area where more comprehensive injury statistics would be useful. It highlighted a study published in BMJ Open which found that sport-related injuries treated in hospital are more than five times more common than road traffic injuries for children under the age of 15. Yet while road traffic injury prevention is a well-resourced public health issue in the UK, sports injury identification and prevention is not, the FSEM said.
The Faculty noted that several sports governing bodies and sporting leagues are in the process of conducting peer-reviewed work in this field.
Dr Roderick Jaques, president of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, commented: “There is a clear need in the UK to work towards the set-up of a National Injury Register for sport. This is essential not only for established sports, clubs and teams, but to also encourage and manage sporting and exercise practices for the general public within safe limits. The challenge is identifying how this can be done and how it can be delivered.
“The barriers to developing a National Injury Register are principally outside the influence of national governing bodies for sport, therefore we need to look towards relevant organisations, regulatory bodies, colleges, faculties and public health authorities to collaborate and create a solution.”
The FSEM said that funding is needed to support this collaboration and the creation of a National Injury Register, allowing popular sport and exercise to be developed and encouraged within safe limits.