Belfast Telegraph

Father of rugby death boy in safety drive

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

The father of tragic junior rugby player Ben Robinson has vowed to make the sport safer throughout schools in the British Isles.

He will claim that his son's death could have been avoided when he meets the Scottish sports and education ministers next week.

A recent inquest concluded that the 14-year-old died from second impact syndrome in the first reported case in the UK.

The Carrickfergus Grammar schoolboy collapsed and never regained consciousness after sustaining two concussive-type injuries within minutes of each other while playing a schools match in 2011.

Mr Robinson and Peter's mother Karen Walton will also meet with Education Minister John O'Dowd early in October.

The parents have been disappointed that the Irish Rugby Football Union's recent statement did not acknowledge that procedures could be improved in the light of their son's death.

"Concussion in rugby can be fatal if it's misdiagnosed or mishandled. That message needs to get out to schools throughout the UK and Ireland," said Mr Robinson, who now lives in Scotland.

He stressed that he did not want to change the game of rugby, only to make it safer.

"I want it to be clear that I'm not trying to change the physicality of the game. I've played it and I love it but what happened to Ben needs to be understood."

Belfast Telegraph

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