The PPF today welcomed the Government’s publication of its position paper on concussion in sport as part of its response to the DCMS Select Committee investigation.
The report contains many positives with its focus on improved research, education on brain injury for players and coaches as well as the focus on player health. The PPF fully endorses the sentiment from the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP, that “player safety must be absolutely paramount”.
Brendon Batson OBE, Chairman of the PPF said:
“We welcome the government's commitments which are an important step forward. We especially welcome the support for the Player Associations on improving protection for players from brain injury in training.”
The report states that DCMS will be asking sports to convene with Player Associations to discuss training protocols. DCMS ministers will contact sports to stress the crucial need to account for the long-term welfare of players when considering their training methods.
The PPF welcomes the Minister’s commitment to establish a Sports Concussion Research Forum to bring together expertise and improve coordination.
Whilst the report contains many positives, there remains a need for many sports governing bodies and the NHS to improve support for retired players living with dementia.
The PPF’s submission to the Select Committee recommended that the NHS should develop a specific clinical pathway for former players who may be living with long term neurological issues. This would enable access to early diagnosis and treatment to mitigate the devastating effects of brain injury on retired players.