Sport & brain injury

Human Brain

We welcome the news today of the Parliamentary inquiry into causal links between sport and brain injury.

Triggered in part by the high coincidence of dementia in members of England’s 1966 football World Cup team, this is an important opportunity to make recommendations to keep sport safe healthy for all.

Concerns have long been raised about the effects of repeated blows to the head in professional boxing – these would also relate to the “ground and pound” of professional MMA, heading the ball repeatedly in football, concussion in rugby.

Judo is not immune to the effects of head injury, although they appear to be rare. Nekoda Davis recently announced her withdrawal from Tokyo selection to concentrate on her recovery from a concussion in 2019.

Our own experience of concussion and head injury is limited. We had an incident many years ago when we were based in Cosham Community Centre, of a player passing out on our mat after banging heads with another player the night before at a different club. More recently we had another player who had to take a period of mat rest after knocking themselves out at home when they banged their head. This was on medical advice and was managed in line with BJA protocols.

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