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Resilient or reckless? Robust debate on risk and reward in sport
  1. Jon Patricios1,2
  1. 1 University of Pretoria, Section of Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. 2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jon Patricios, Section of Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Johannesburg 2121, South Africa; jpat{at}

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Strong, vigorous, sturdy and rugged are all synonyms applicable to the word ‘robust’.1 A glass of full-bodied South African cabernet sauvignon may also be described by the sommelier as ‘robust’ and I hope that this South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) edition of BJSM will linger on your intellectual palate as it highlights key issues around the debate on contact and collision sport.

Highlighting potential risks

The infographic ( see page 1165 ) highlights the many benefits of exercise for children. Do these benefits extend to contact and collision sports or are the risks indefensible? The ‘risk-and-reward’ discussion is fascinating as it spans the realms of both scientific and public debate. This can be treacherous territory.

Implementing robust scientific findings into practice is what we strive for, but when does private and public opinion begin to inform ‘scientific’ work? Professor Allyson Pollock and a group of ‘70 academics, doctors and public health professionals’ sent an open letter to the …

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