Peter Rogers has crystal clear recollections from his taking part in days and for that he counts himself extraordinarily fortunate. The previous Wales prop is conscious about the problems surrounding dementia via his work in social care and the diploma he’s learning on the topic.
He additionally has large empathy for these ex-players who’ve been recognized with early onset dementia, with a quantity taking authorized motion towards the game’s governing our bodies for failing to guard them from the dangers brought on by concussions.
Now the 18-times capped Rogers has an vital new function to play. He has been appointed ambassador of Love of The Sport, a marketing campaign aimed toward decreasing concussion-related points throughout sport. When he seems again on his personal profession, the ex-London Irish, Newport and Cardiff prop feels so lucky to have the ability to achieve this with absolute readability. You may learn extra about his taking part in days right here.
“One in every of my greatest recollections is operating on to the pitch on the Millennium Stadium for the primary ever recreation there towards South Africa in 1999,” he says.
“Proper on the finish of the match, I can bear in mind Ed Morrison and simply keen him to blow that last whistle for us to win. I can keep in mind that prefer it was yesterday. I used to be going ‘Go on, blow that whistle, please Ed, please blow it.’
“I can bear in mind leaping on Scott Gibbs’ again when he scored that strive towards England at Wembley. He was going ‘Get off you huge lump!’ I used to be going ‘No manner Gibbsy, you might be carrying me’.
“I bear in mind each Welsh anthem I sang. You may’t purchase issues like that. A number of the fondest recollections in my life are from taking part in rugby and they’re crystal clear in my thoughts. However, sadly, some former gamers don’t have recollections of video games. That has to trouble everybody. Perhaps I’m one of many fortunate guys.
“I’ve a lot empathy for former colleagues and ex-players who’ve been recognized with early onset dementia. Having seen extreme dementia at first hand via my job, I do rely myself extraordinarily fortunate.”
“I see the challenges that residing with dementia throws up. I turned fascinated by it and that led to me doing a masters diploma in dementia research on the College of West London. I needed to broaden my information and see what academia is saying concerning the situation. So I enrolled on this course, self-funding my diploma, whereas nonetheless doing 20 hours per week in social care.
“I’m loving it and studying a lot. Earlier than I began, I believed I knew every little thing about dementia as a result of whenever you work with it you assume you do. However the science backs up what you see each day. From being on the course and the media protection of working as a carer, I used to be approached by Love of The Sport.”
“It’s an exquisite marketing campaign to be a part of,” stated Rogers. “What I’m obsessed with is prevention. Love of the Sport seems at totally different progressive methods to guard gamers via expertise.
“One of many key points we’re campaigning for is having transportable mind scanning expertise that can be utilized on the grounds. It creates an digital mapping of the mind and provides a transparent indication of whether or not it’s okay to return on.
“I need the sport to outlive, indisputably. It has given me a lot through the years and nonetheless retains on giving me pleasure by having the ability to watch my son play.” You may learn how Rogers got here out of retirement earlier this 12 months to play alongside his son right here.
“It’s an exquisite recreation and it’s about making an attempt to cease it from being underneath menace and, greater than something, it’s about defending gamers. I completely perceive the key challenges of collaborating in collision sport and the sport has made huge efforts to scale back head contact.
“However clearly there must be extra expertise and innovation on the subject of participant welfare. We’d like way more analysis to discover the connection between head collisions and younger onset dementia, continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and mind trauma.”
The Cardiff-based Rogers, now 53, acknowledges the sport has come a great distance by way of participant welfare from his personal days out on the sector.
“There wasn’t actually any consciousness concerning the threat of buying dementia again then. That was by no means mentioned. The expertise wasn’t out there.
“However I can let you know there was a poor harm tradition. At one among my former golf equipment, I reported for coaching having simply had an x-ray which confirmed I had two damaged bones in my hand. I refused to play due to my harm and a few of my team-mates mocked me and taunted me. One of many teaching administration mocked me and laughed and stated ‘Oh Peter’s obtained a bit of damaged fingernail’. I had a real fracture of the hand.
“World Rugby states that professional gamers are only allowed to do quarter-hour of full-on contact coaching in per week. That’s not the skilled rugby I knew again in my day. It was by no means recorded, however I can let you know it was greater than quarter-hour.”