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UAE sport more concussion-aware than ever -- Taif Al Delamie.

Dubai: There is more awareness of concussion in UAE sport as a result of the National Football League (NFL) scandal than ever before, according to former Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union (AGRFU) centre Taif Al Delamie.

The 28-year-old Omani-Irish sports scientist was forced to retire in April due to the effects of multiple concussions. He says his decision has been met with understanding and support in the wake of the NFL case.

"Like with any sport, the attitude after receiving a knock to the head was just to get on with it," Al Delamie told Gulf News. "But I think, with all these high-profile cases, people are now more aware and sympathetic. The knowledge base is growing in this region.

"Concussion was not really anything that was talked about in the past and what makes it worse is that physically you look fine and recovery is so variable.

No recollection

"That's why we've seen some players return to the game when it's not safe to do so.

"There's been many studies that suggest you are more susceptible to further injury if you continue, like with a knee ligament injury, but the difference is it's a lot more serious when it's your head, especially when things occur further down the road like mental issues and depression. It's a lot scarier when it's your head over a knee or shoulder injury."

Persistent symptoms

Al Delamie was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome following ten serious bouts of concussion over the course of his local rugby career.

"After the last one I woke up in an ambulance and had no recollection of how I got there," he said. "I was told aACAythat's it for you'. I gave it one more go, but found I was still getting symptoms even without knocks.

"That was one thing that hit me, it's one thing if you don't feel right after a knock in a game, but when you still don't feel right a week or two after when you are not doing any contact -- that's when I saw a neurologist and he advised me very strongly to quit contact sport.

"I'm sure now with all the attention concussion is getting within the NFL it will be on the radars of other sports' governing bodies too and we'll see proper management of injuries. As with any medical development, new studies and more awareness see better responses to these incidences and I'd imagine we'll see a lot more focus on it from now."

UAE RF initiative

When contacted by Gulf News on the matter of concussion, the UAE Rugby Federation (UAERF) released the following statement: "Alongside strictly following World Rugby's concussion rules, the UAE RF has designed a dedicated aACAyUAE RF Concussion Guidelines' release, which was distributed to all affiliated clubs at the last midseason meeting.

"We take concussion very seriously, and our chief medical person [Chris Page] is exceptionally proactive with staying up to date with new concussion information, trainings and practices."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jun 24, 2015
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