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Sydney girls school bans Aussie rules football over brain injury risk, AFLW, AFL news

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A Sydney girls school has moved to phase out Australian rules football over concerns its students could face brain injuries.

Queenwood Girls School, located in the city’s northern beaches, confirmed the school would not allow students to play the contact sport, in a statement to The Australian.

Principal Elizabeth Stone said there were decisive factors behind the move, including growing evidence that adolescents are at a greater risk of injury and that females experience concussions more frequently than males.

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“This meant our students, teenage girls, were in the highest risk category,” she said.

“At Queenwood, we loved everything about AFL except for the risk of trauma to the brain.”

The prestigious independent school teaches girls from kindergarten to year 12 and advertises sports are an “important part of a Queenwood education”.

Professor Owen White, adjunct Clinical Professor of Neuroscience at Monash University, told 3AW evidence of risk for children is “a bit light on”.

“But logic tells you don’t risk a child’s brain,” he said.

“There’s a lot that can be done by changing the rules to reduce the likelihood of significant head injury.”

Queenswood has a proud history of producing sporting stars, counting AFLW player Nicola Barr and former Olympian turned member of parliament Zali Steggall as alumni.

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