Peter Rogers has crystal clear memories from his playing days, and for that he considers himself extremely happy. The former Welsh employee is acutely aware of the problems associated with dementia, thanks to his work in the field of social assistance and the degree he is studying on the subject.

He is also very sympathetic to those former players who have been diagnosed with dementia in the early stages, and some are suing sports governing bodies for failing to protect them from the risks posed by concussions.

Now 18-time Rogers needs to play a new important role. He was appointed ambassador for Love of The Game, a campaign aimed at reducing concussion-related problems in sports. When he looks back on his own career, the ex-Irishman from London, Newport and Cardiff feels so happy that he can do so with absolute clarity. You can read more about his game days here.

“One of my best memories is going out on the field at Millennium Stadium in the first ever game against South Africa in 1999,” he said.

“Right at the end of the match I remember looking at Ed Morrison and just wanting him to give the last whistle for us to win. I remember how it was yesterday. I was going, “Come on, blow the whistle, please, Ed, please.”

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“I remember jumping on Scott Gibbs’ back when he scored a goal against England at Wembley. He was going to say, “Get off you, big lump!” I said, “No way, Gibby, you’re carrying me.”

“I remember every Welsh anthem that was sung. You can’t buy such things. Some of the most enjoyable memories in my life are from playing rugby and they are crystal clear in my mind. But unfortunately, some former players have no memories of the game. This should bother everyone. Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones.

“I am very sympathetic to former colleagues and former players who have been diagnosed with early dementia. I think I was very lucky to see severe dementia firsthand in my work. “

It was his work as a home caregiver for the elderly over the past four years that ultimately led to Rogers ’involvement in Love of The Game.

“I see the problems that life with dementia causes. I was fascinated by it, and it led to me getting a master’s degree in dementia from the University of West London. I wanted to expand my knowledge and see what academia has to say about this condition. So I enrolled in this course by self-financing my degree while doing 20 hours a week in social care.

“I love it and learn so much. Before I started, I thought I knew everything about dementia because when you work with it, you think you know. But science reinforces what you see daily. After I was aware of and covered in the media about the work of the caretaker, I was approached by Love of The Game.

Former “England and the Lions” second-rate Simon Shaw is president of the company, and its chairman is Lawrence Geller, adviser to the Minister for Concussion in Sports.

“Participating in this campaign is a great campaign,” Rogers said. “I am fond of prevention. Love of the Game examines various innovative ways to protect players with technology.

“One of the key issues we are campaigning for is the availability of portable brain scanning technology that can be used on site. It creates an electronic map of the brain and gives a clear idea of ​​whether it is possible to go back.

“I want the game to survive, no doubt. It has given me so much over the years and still gives me pleasure when I can watch my son play. ”You can read how Rogers retired earlier this year to play with your son here.

“It’s a great game and it’s about trying to keep it from being threatened and, most of all, about protecting players. I fully understand the major challenges of engaging in the sport of collision, and the game has gone to great lengths to reduce head contact.

“But obviously more technology and innovation is needed for the well-being of players. We need much more research to examine the link between head-on collisions and dementia at a young age, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and brain injury.”

Rogers of Cardiff, now 53, admits the game has come a long way in terms of player welfare since his own days on the field.

“There was no awareness then of the risk of acquiring dementia. This has never been discussed. Technology was not available.

“But I can tell you there was a bad culture of injuries. At one of my former clubs I reported for a workout that I had just done an X-ray that showed I had two broken bones in my hand. I refused to play due to injury and some of my teammates made fun of me and made fun of me. One of the coaching staff made fun of me, laughed and said, “Oh, Peter’s nails broke a little.” I had a real broken arm.

“World rugby claims that professional players are only allowed 15 minutes of full contact training a week. This is not the professional rugby I knew in my day. It was never recorded, but I can tell you it was over 15 minutes. ”

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