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Article from Red Deer Advocate written by The Canadian Press: Wickenheiser backs development of video games to treat concussions
http://www.reddeeradvocate.com/entertainment/wickenheiser-backs-development-of-video-games-to-treat-concussions/

Hayley Wickenheiser’s reasons for helping develop video game technology to treat concussions are close to her heart.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist in women’s hockey remembers the dizziness and nausea she felt after taking a hit in a Swedish men’s pro league in 2008.

Wickenheiser also witnessed the deterioration of friend and former NHL player Steve Montador, who was diagnosed after his death in 2015 with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

CTE is a degenerative brain condition that doctors believe is caused by concussions.

Wickenheiser co-chairs the advisory board of Highmark Interactive, a Toronto digital therapeutics company developing video games to diagnose and treat concussion and brain injuries.

She’s joined on the board by former New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador, snowboarder Mark McMorris and Pittsburgh Penguins director of sport science Andy O’Brien.

“Everyone involved with this project had a bit of a connection to head trauma in some way shape or form,” Wickenheiser said in an interview. “Losing Steve Montador who was one of my best friends to … he obviously had CTE which we found out after he passed away. Watching him degrade as a person over the years, I think looking back after he passed away, I felt ‘Is there something I can do to honour Steve that will be to continue down this road and help other people?’”

Highmark is 12 to 18 months away from going to market with the games, according to founder Dr. Sanjeev Sharma.

“Our fundamental thesis is between neuroplasticity, where the brain does heal itself, and the proper utilization of gaming and the stimulus that gaming provides the brain, we believe we can build a game that will eventually enable the concussed individual to heal faster, quicker, better,” Sharma explained. “We don’t look to replace physicians or clinicians. We’re looking to give them tools to augment diagnostic capabilities.”

The traditional remedy for a concussion has been to eliminate physical activity and limit sensory stimuli until the brain is healed. New research suggests some physical activity helps recovery.

Playing a video game with a brain injury may seem counterintuitive given sensitivity to light and screens, but Sharma believes games could retrain and thus restore the concussed brain.

“The hope would be, eventually, we would have a game that, depending on symptoms, patients could play and it would help raise their threshold for what they can do on a computer screen before they have symptoms,” he said. “Slowly and gradually we’d raise that threshold to bring it back to normal.

“You use games that aren’t as intrusive or games where you have different speeds at which things are moving and things are flashing. What you’re doing is you’re really slowly building up their tolerance where all of a sudden computer screens don’t cause a problem because they’ve been using gaming to get better.”

In practical terms, instead of sitting in a dark room between physiotherapy and rehabilitation appointments, Wickenheiser believes the ability to augment and chart recovery doing something fun at home could accelerate return to play or work.

“I’ve had teammates who have had to literally go home and sit in the dark. I was through that once myself for a short time,” she said. “One of the things that happens when you have a head injury, you often don’t know how much better you’re getting and there’s a feeling of hopelessness and fear that comes with that.

“If you’re tracking yourself on a day-to-day basis and seeing improvement or know you’re helping yourself improve, I think it also helps with the recovery because the stress level goes down.”

The 39-year-old from Shaunavon, Sask., retired as Canada’s all-time leading scorer in January.

The women’s team congregated in Calgary this week to start full-time preparation for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Wickenheiser did that five times in her career en route to four gold.

“I’ll say it’s definitely a little strange for sure because you’re used to the routine,” she said. “I’m so busy with other stuff right now, I’m filling the gap.”

Wickenheiser will join San Jose Sharks centre Logan Couture and former NHL player Eric Lindros at Western University in London, Ont., on Wednesday to speak at and promote the school’s concussion treatment and awareness program.

She’s fighting the concussion battle on multiple fronts.

“I’m a big believer that academia alone isn’t going to get this done,” she said. “I think we need the private sector.

“There’s just so much more we can develop and I think we can make people aware of.”

 

 

TIFF + ESPN Emerging Filmmaker Grant

- REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS -

Submission Deadline: Monday October 30, 2017 at 5pm

For over four decades, TIFF has been committed to transforming the way people see the world, through film. ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports.

Central to these two organizations is a shared commitment to provide filmmakers and content creators with resources and mentorship to support their storytelling. In an effort to foster the next generation of filmmakers, TIFF and ESPN Films are honoured to partner together to present the TIFF + ESPN Emerging Filmmaker Grant (“the Grant”), which will provide support to an emerging film and media creator 30 years of age or under who is pursuing, or will undertake, the creation of a short-form documentary film that considers issues of social and cultural importance through the lens of sport and/or athletics. Through financial support and mentorship opportunities, the Grant will encourage and catalyze an emerging filmmaker towards the realization of their project.

ESPN and TIFF believe in the power of film and media to advocate for social change – to this end, we actively seek project proposals that highlight athletic groups, organizations, and participants using sport and athletics to create impact in their communities. The successful recipient will be awarded $25,000 CAD to use towards the development, production or post-production of their film. The recipient will also receive professional consultation and project notes from industry professionals identified by ESPN and TIFF, networking assistance, access to TIFF Film Reference Library resources and a student pass to the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival Industry Conference where they will be exposed to industry professionals.

The TIFF + ESPN Emerging Filmmaker Grant is generously supported by ESPN.

Workshop opportunity

On August 10, TIFF will present a three-hour Film Treatment Workshop in Toronto for TIFF + ESPN Emerging Filmmaker Grant applicants to workshop their applications with film industry professionals. Those planning to submit an application to the Grant are encouraged to attend. For more information on the Film Treatment Workshop, including the next steps to register, please email . Space at the workshop is limited. Please send an email expressing interest by August 3, 2017.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For additional information regarding the TIFF + ESPN Emerging Filmmaker Grant, including eligibility, application deadline and components, please visit the website. Please direct any questions about the Grant or Film Treatment Workshop to .

 

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is excited to help the International Women's Baseball Center to recognize the value, diversity, and cultural significance of women in baseball through a week-long celebration of players, umpires, coaches, owners, and more!

July 24-30, 2017
#WomeninBaseballWeek
International Women's Baseball Center
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The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is very proud of Alberta's vast sporting history; with over 15 000 artefacts in our Collection, we take pride in sharing those items with the public. All of our Collection can be viewed on our website, including descriptions and photographs.

Check out these artefacts that were used by Helen Nicol!

Read Helen's bio: http://ashfm.ca/component/k2/nicol-helen

 

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is excited to help the International Women's Baseball Center to recognize the value, diversity, and cultural significance of women in baseball through a week-long celebration of players, umpires, coaches, owners, and more!

July 24-30, 2017
#WomeninBaseballWeek 
International Women's Baseball Center
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In addition to numerous permanent galleries, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum showcases a variety of changing exhibitions throughout its exhibit space. With over 15,000 objects in the museum's Collections, there's always something new to discover.This exhibit was created specially for the 2017 Induction Banquet and utilized several of Betty's personal items, as well as a few of our ASHFM artefacts including the replica Rockford Peaches uniform. Betty played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League before returning home to Edmonton and supporting the Softball and Baseball community there.

Read Betty Carveth Dunn's biography:http://ashfm.ca/component/k2/carveth-dunn-betty

Dunn2017IB

The International Women's Baseball Center would like to recognize the value, diversity, and cultural significance of women in baseball through a week-long celebration of players, umpires, coaches, owners, and more!

July 24-30, 2017
#WomeninBaseballWeek 
International Women's Baseball Center
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In addition to numerous permanent galleries, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum showcases a variety of changing exhibitions throughout its exhibit space. With over 15,000 objects in the museum's Collections, there's always something new to discover.

These are two passed exhibits that showcase the numberous contributions of Helen Nicol to the baseball community.

Read Helen Nicol's biography: http://ashfm.ca/component/k2/nicol-helen

Nicol VictoryonttheField  NicolHoFExhibit

 The International Women's Baseball Center would like to recognize the value, diversity, and cultural significance of women in baseball through a week-long celebration of players, umpires, coaches, owners, and more!

July 24-30, 2017
#WomeninBaseballWeek 
International Women's Baseball Center
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Check out Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum's very own Betty Carveth Dunn!

Inducted 2017 Baseball Athlete

Born in 1925, Betty Carveth grew up in Grande Prairie, Alberta and became a part of baseball history.

Betty Carveth was one of only sixty-four Canadian women to play in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. A right-handed pitcher, she played during the 1945 season with the Rockford Peaches and was traded mid-season to the Fort Wayne Daisies. She returned home to Edmonton and became the city's first female Little League Baseball coach and coached the boys for 10 years. At the age of 12, she pitched for the Twilight Ladies Softball team which won three Peace River Championships in a row. In the mid-1940s, she pitched for Edmonton's top-rated Walk-Rite women's baseball team.

Betty played for the Walk-Rite team from 1943-1945 at the age of eighteen to twenty. It was during this time that a scout saw her play and asked her to try out for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the United States; a league that was featured in the 1992 movie "A League of Their Own." Betty played from April to October in 1945, earning $75 a week – which was four times more than she had made as a secretary back in Edmonton. There was a list of rules and a dress code the players had to abide to, both on and off the field. They attended a half day of beauty school and were told to look and act like ladies, however while on the field, they were to play ball like men. Sliding into a base or making a flying catch was not pleasant as the uniforms were short dresses, knee socks, and caps which provided very little protection.

When the 1945 season closed, Betty returned to Edmonton and demonstrated her love for baseball by promoting and signing autographs throughout the years that followed. She was named Ambassador of Baseball for the inaugural IBAF (International Baseball Federation) Women's World Baseball Championship in 2004 and then named Special Ambassador in 2012. She threw the ceremonial first pitch at both tournaments and did again in 2015 at one of the Edmonton Prospects games.

As a member of the AAGPBL, Betty was inducted into the American Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, USA in 1988. She was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 with the Canadian AAGPBL players.

Read more: http://ashfm.ca/component/k2/carveth-dunn-betty

CarvethDunnBettyHMGalleryweb