“When I was a boy I was obsessed with sports.”
So begins Dr. Charles Tator’s first-person account for CBC Sports on his love of playing hockey growing up (“I was not a star but I had a great time”), his work as a brain and spine surgeon specializing in trauma (“I learned first-hand that the sports I loved could put a player in a wheelchair for life”) – and his advocacy of concussion prevention (a different kind of “team sport” that he says has to involve athletes, their families, coaches, teachers, referees and leagues).
Dr. Tator, a professor of neurosurgery at University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine and director of the Canadian Concussion Centre, writes about working, through the injury-prevention organization Parachute Canada, on the federal government’s new push to harmonize concussion guidelines for all the country’s sports so that the messaging to athletes and their families will be “more uniform and more effective.”
He also speaks about his thrill of being inducted this year in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame for his role in injury prevention. “It was my greatest sports achievement because in electing me, Canada’s Sports Hall became a member of my sports injury prevention team.“