University of Minnesota

Concussions and Female Athletes: The Untold Story

A Tucker Center/TPT Channel 2 video documentary

Click here to access the full video at TPT/Channel 2

Concussions and their devastating consequences affect athletes in all sports and at all levels. However, while sport-related concussion has ignited a national conversation and public debate about this serious brain injury, the majority of attention has focused on male athletes. Critical issues-and unanswered questions-surrounding the impact of concussion on female athletes have been largely ignored. Are females as or even more susceptible to concussion than males? Are female athletes less likely to report a concussion when compared to their male counterparts? Through the personal stories and experiences of coaches, athletes and their families, as well as in-depth interviews with nationally recognized scholars and medical experts, this documentary examines the causes underlying concussion and offers practical solutions to help prevent and treat sports-related concussion injuries in female athletes.

"This amazing partnership with TPT allows us to fulfill the core mission of the Tucker Center-to engage in research that truly makes a difference in the live of girls and women, their families, and communities," says Tucker Center Director and Professor Mary Jo Kane. "We are also deeply committed to educational endeavors and community outreach that provide knowledge to a vast audience. In the case of serious brain injuries such as concussion, this first-of-a-kind documentary can quite literally save lives."

In a unique arrangement, TPT has granted the Tucker Center rights to distribute the documentary as an educational tool to a broad constituency, including high school and college coaches, along with scholars, educators, policy makers and the general public. "Having the ability to widely disseminate the video will potentially make a difference and impact those who need the information the most," said Nicole M. LaVoi, associate director of the Tucker Center.

Former U of M president emeritus Robert H. Bruininks, who appears in the documentary, states that, "Sport-related concussion is a much more serious issue than we thought just a few years ago. There is no better place than the Tucker Center and the U of M to have a serious conversation about the implications of this injury on the long-term health of girls and women who participate in exercise and sport."

Clips from the Documentary (click image to play)

Impact on the Family:
A Mother and Daughter Tell their Story
-Liz & Natalie Eull

"I Couldn't Tell You How I Felt Because I Don't Remember": The Athlete's Story
-Natalie Darwitz

What the Research Tells Us: Watch, Learn, Listen
-Dr. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal