What Are The Effects Of Being Concussed From Sport?

We meet Justin and Brittany, two brave footy players who have suffered severe concussions

Justin Clarke is a former Brisbane Lions player, and he began playing AFL at just 18. He had played four seasons with the Lions, when one day during pre-season training, he went for the ball.

In speaking with The Project, he said, “I pitched forwards and another player was crumbing the pack and came through and my head collided with his knee.”

Justin got a concussion and was out for about 20 or 30 seconds. He could no longer think straight, started slurring his words, couldn’t concentrate, and had a sensitivity to light. His doctor advised him to no longer continue with football.

Concussion occurs when the brain moves inside the head and collides into the skull. It is linked to confusion, nausea, headache, and even dementia. However, not enough research has been done to clearly prove the link.

Professor Pankaj Sah of Queensland’s Brain Institute is hoping to change this. He is currently looking for volunteers to come in and have a brain scan before they get a concussion, take some blood, and then follow up after a concussion to see its effects.

Brittany Bonnici is another footballer who also decided to stop playing after several injuries. She said, “I just wasn’t strong enough to be able to hold myself and I was getting thrown…”

After a few head injuries and concussions, Brittany decided that playing high level amateur football wasn’t the best thing for her.

She said it was a difficult decision because she “had all these dreams and visions for [herself] as a footballer…”

However, after a season off, the AFLW was announced and Brittany wanted in. But to protect herself, she trained with coaches to learn how to use her body in a safer way. And it seems to have worked, because she’s now played two seasons for Collingwood, concussion-free.

As for Justin, after taking two years out from football, he now helps out at his local club, while also studying aerospace engineering.

If you play contact sport and live in Queensland, you just might be suitable for the Queensland Brain Institute’s study. Please click the link for more information