Government to hold major summit into brain injuries in sport as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden acknowledges it could become a ‘looming problem’
- The government will hold a major summit addressing brain injuries in sport
- Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says it could become a ‘looming problem’
- Football dementia campaigner Dawn Astle will attend along with Ryan Mason
The government are to hold a major summit into brain injuries in sport – their first significant intervention into what they have described as a ‘looming problem for British sport’.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston are to gather evidence from leading sports figures and governing bodies, who they will then encourage to make recommendations on how to improve player welfare.
The first virtual meeting will take place on Tuesday and attendees include football dementia campaigner Dawn Astle, ex-Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason – who retired after fracturing his skull – and former Leeds Rhinos captain Stevie Ward, who recently quit rugby league because of concussion.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says brain injuries could become a ‘looming problem’ for sport
Football dementia campaigner Dawn Astle will attend the first virtual meeting on Tuesday
Les Ferdinand, Michael Vaughan, Matt Dawson and Simon Shaw – the former England stars in football, cricket and rugby union respectively – will also give evidence, as will Laurence Geller, an expert in dementia care.
The second summit will call leaders from the governing bodies in football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, boxing and taekwondo, alongside representatives from the Department for Health and Social Care and Department for Education.
The Government’s aim is to ‘ensure the sport sector is working together to carry out more research in this area and determine the extent of health impacts of occupational injuries from contact sports’.
Dowden said: ‘The safety and wellbeing of everyone taking part in sport is absolutely paramount. I am worried that this could become a looming problem for British sport, so it’s right we come together, look at the evidence and processes we have and agree a way forward to protect the stars of today and tomorrow.
‘Everyone involved has a love for their sport and I hope by convening this forum we can work collaboratively on this important issue.’
Ryan Mason (left) who retired from football after fracturing his skull and Stevie Ward (right), who quit rugby league because of concussion, will also attend