The Washington Post

White House concussion summit opens with introduction from Huntingtown’s Tori Bellucci

[posttv url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/sports/obama-calls-for-more-research-into-youth-concussions/2014/05/29/f9f1a597-58ef-448a-8706-da73edf1f627_video.html" ]

President Obama is hosting a day-long summit on concussions and youth sports Thursday at the White House — a discourse aimed at finding new ways to identify, treat and prevent serious head injuries, with youth sports as a focus.

Huntingtown senior Tori Bellucci, an All-Met soccer player who elected to forgo playing soccer in college after she suffered her fifth concussion, introduced the president Thursday.

Bellucci held a full scholarship offer to play soccer at Towson in the fall, but the aftereffects of multiple concussions took a physical and emotional toll.

“It changes the way you think and feel,” Bellucci, 18, said. “I was just like really sad, really kind of desperate type of feeling. I couldn’t do anything because of my head, so I would just be in my room with the shades drawn. I was like, ‘I don’t want to live like this anymore.’ “

While concussions and preventive safety measures in football have generated headlines from the NFL down to the youth level in recent years, the frequency of concussions and repeated head injuries in girls’ soccer is alarming.

According to High School RIO (reporting information online), an injury surveillance system built by Dr. Dawn Comstock of the Colorado School of Public Health, only football and boys’ hockey players report concussions at a higher rate than girls’ soccer players.

In his brief remarks Thursday, Obama discussed the importance of sports in American society, and the need to ensure the protection of youth who play them.

“We want our kids playing sports,” Obama said. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe.”

Read Chelsea Janes’s full story on the challenges of reducing concussions in girls’ soccer here.

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

sports

recruiting-insider

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.