GPA improves player safety

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Updated: April 19, 2011

The Gaelic Players Association has just completed the distribution of custom fitted mouth guards to every inter-county football squad.

The initiative is part of the GPA’s Health and Wellbeing Programme for players and comes as the GAA prepares to make the wearing of gum shields compulsory in Gaelic football.

A properly fitting gum shield can help prevent serious injuries such as broken teeth, jaw fractures and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets slammed against the upper jaw.

Gum shields are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks.The distribution took place over the past two months. A number of specialised providers attended inter-county training sessions where impressions were taken of each player’s mouth. The impression was then taken away and the guard was custom-fitted at the next session to ensure a comfortable fit.

Speaking about the completion of the project, GPA CEO Dessie Farrell commented: “The distribution of free mouth guards to all county footballers was an important element for the GPA’s Health and Wellbeing Programme this year and is further manifestation of the positive impact on player welfare inherent within the GAA/GPA agreement. In addition this initiative is quite timely given the rule changes being introduced by the GAA and the proliferation of compelling evidence highlighting the protective benefits from wearing one. I’d like to thank our service providers Sportsguard and Sporting Smiles for managing the distribution so efficiently.”

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