Film and panel discussion tackle concussion issue

Film and panel discussion tackle concussion issue

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 9, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 10 at 5:09 PM

BOISE -- Saturday night, an event at The Egyptian Theatre focused on concussions. They showed the documentary film, "Head Games," and hosted a panel discussion with athletic trainers, doctors, and former football players. One of those players was former Boise State Bronco Matt Kaiserman.

Matt Kaiserman has been the face of concussions in Idaho.

"I grew up here over in Nampa Idaho, earned a college scholarship to play for Boise State, had a long history of concussions, one of which actually ended my career while playing in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas," said Kaiserman.

That was back in December 2010. Last year, he helped pass the concussion legislation in the Gem State. He also helped organize Saturday night's event.

"The film itself and even the research that's coming out now is pretty daunting for a lot of people, whether you're a parent or a coach or an athlete," Kaiserman said.

It drew a crowd that included parents and athletes, like Caroline Sobota and her daughter Katarina.

"I think everyone takes risks with sports. I was an athlete as a kid too. So knowing the risks and how to keep them safer, I hope this movie will teach us a little about. And then if it happens how to get appropriate help," said Sobota.

Nikki Clark-Vega deals with sports injuries as the Head Athletic Trainer and sport medicine teacher at Boise High School.

"My goal when I have a concussion patient is to make sure that we're really giving the brain time to recover as it needs to so that they can go back to school, back to the classroom, back to their sport and really be able to still function the way they need," Clark-Vega said.

In the 10 years she has worked at Boise High, she has seen a change for the better.

"I think they're being reported more, which is a good thing, that's what we want. We want kids to tell us how they're feeling so that we can handle it appropriately and make sure that they're going to be OK for the duration of their time in the school," she said.

Although many people think of football when they think of concussions, Clark-Vega said that is not the case. She said they can happen in soccer, wrestling, hockey, or any sport or activity with contact.

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