When Rene Caris laces her boots forward of this weekend’s all-important qualifying ultimate in opposition to Port Melbourne, the very last thing she desires to consider is her head.
- Rene Caris stated she’s involved not sufficient is thought in regards to the impacts of concussion in AFLW
- Former Adelaide defender Heather Anderson is the primary feminine athlete to be recognized with Continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
- CTE is a degenerative mind illness related to repeated delicate traumatic mind accidents
Nevertheless, the everlasting dangers related to the game she loves have by no means been nearer to her thoughts.
The proficient ruck has solely simply returned to the sector after struggling her first concussion whereas representing Collingwood within the VFLW competitors throughout her facet’s Spherical 12 loss to Carlton.
She efficiently returned to the sector about two weeks later and has been cleared to once more pull on the black and white stripes this weekend in a top-of-the-table conflict in opposition to Port Melbourne.
It can come simply days after Adelaide premiership participant Heather Anderson turned the primary identified skilled feminine athlete to be recognized with the degenerative mind illness power traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Anderson’s household donated her mind to science after her loss of life by suicide in November.
Like Anderson, Caris plied her commerce on the high stage, spending two seasons with Geelong earlier than shifting to the VFL this yr.
An innocuous head-clash in an off-the-ball incident noticed the Horsham-export sidelined for 2 weeks in what was the primary concussion of her profession.
Caris stated it was an uncommon scenario for her personally, however one which’s all too widespread league-wide.
“Almost as soon as per week somebody will get knocked out inside a recreation,” Caris stated.
The 24-year-old stated her concussion expertise has modified the best way she approaches soccer.
“You hear the tales of the potential impacts of what it may be in future years,” she stated.
“It kind of makes you a second guess stepping into for an additional sort out or these hardball-gets while you’re stepping into [to a pack] the place there may very well be somebody coming from a path you do not realise.
“I assume it kind of made me doubtlessly pull out of these contests that perhaps I would not usually have achieved.”
The AFL and AFLW have beforehand acknowledged the continued well being dangers of concussion and launched a number of insurance policies which it says have made the sport and its gamers safer.
An AFL spokesperson stated the league recommended Anderson’s household for donating her mind to scientific analysis.
“We proceed to encourage soccer gamers to contemplate donating their brains to additional analysis on this space and reiterate that the well being and security of all gamers is the AFL’s upmost precedence,” the spokesperson stated.
“We proceed to study in regards to the influence of concussion and head trauma together with by means of numerous analysis tasks and make the knowledgeable changes to guidelines and protocols to make sure the sport stays accessible and as protected as potential for everybody.”
The information of Anderson’s CTE prognosis despatched shock waves all through the skilled sporting group.
An article by the authors of the research into Anderson’s brain issued a stern warning, saying she was the primary “however won’t be the final” feminine athlete recognized with CTE.
Caris stated she was involved present skilled feminine footballers do not know sufficient in regards to the dangers related to concussions.
“It is fairly scary, actually, to suppose that is somebody who’s additionally performed almost minimal AFLW video games as nicely,” she stated of Anderson’s prognosis.
“I do not suppose that individuals are very conscious of the implications of what can occur.”
Whereas Caris stated she had full religion in her medical doctors at Collingwood, there was all the time a component of doubt or worry that remained at the back of her thoughts.
“I knew that I had handed all of the assessments that I ought to have,” she stated.
“You do not really know the injury that has occurred, and that is the scary factor.
“I assume it reveals how far more analysis must be achieved on females enjoying sport.”
The AFL Gamers’ Affiliation was not out there for remark.