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Brain Injury Society dives head first into helmet awareness

By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Jun 04, 2011 - 1:30 PM |
Chad Gagnon and most other skaters and bikers were seen with helmets on during a Brain Injury Society awareness event held at the Minnow Lake Skatepark June 4. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Chad Gagnon and most other skaters and bikers were seen with helmets on during a Brain Injury Society awareness event held at the Minnow Lake Skatepark June 4. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

After Chad Gagnon broke his wrist last August, he was unable to skateboard for two months.

The 15-year-old said the time following the accident was filled with “lots of sadness.”

Luckily, his injury healed, and he's been able to hone his skills even further this summer. The taste of being unable to skate for a period of time was part of the reason he decided to start wearing a helmet most times he's on a board.

“My life revolves around skateboarding,” he said. The young athlete said he doesn't know what he'd do if an injury prevented him from skating on a regular basis.

On June 4, members of the Brain Injury Society – Sudbury and District were at the Minnow Lake skatepark, spreading awareness about the value of helmets.

Johanne Fillion, president of the organization, said skateboarding is a “risky” sport. Since there are no laws requiring participants to wear helmets, she said many don't.

While bikers are required by law to sport brain buckets, they don't always wear them either.

Fillion said it might be because they aren't willing or able to spend money on them.

That's why the Brain Injury Society handed out $20 gift cards towards the purchase of a helmet from community partners.

It's a step in the right direction, but not all skaters and bikers avoid helmets because of cost. For some, it's a matter of comfort.

Nick Trist said he doesn't like feeling “weighed down” by a helmet.

“It just feels really uncomfortable on my head when I'm riding,” he said. 

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