We believe participation in sport has great health and social benefits but recognise that there are risks involved in some contact sports. We want to ensure those taking part are aware of the risks to brain health and can make informed decisions about participation. We also want to support clubs so that they can feel confident that they are doing all they can to protect the brain health of their members.
Participation in sport has an important social role and there are many ways in which it can benefit a persons mental well being. Our aim is to enhance the positive influence of sport and to use it foster mental resilience so that people are better able to cope with life outside sport.
Dr David Millar began working with concussive sports injuries in New Zealand in the mid 90’s as an assistant psychologist with Dr Dorothy Gronwall OBE who pioneered the use of baseline neurocognitive assessments with elite rugby players. He graduated from Newcastle University with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2002 and from Glasgow University with a MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology in 2005. Throughout his career he has continued to work with people following concussion and more severe brain injuries in both regional neurological acute and rehabilitation settings. He left the NHS in 2012 and established NeuroCog, a company specialising in the assessment and rehabilitation of people following brain injury. Prior to his career as a psychologist, he graduated from the Scottish School of Physical Education and remains passionate about player welfare. He has worked across a range of sports including football, rugby (union & league), cycling, horse racing and motor and combat sports.
Dr Paul Catterson is Head of Medical Services / Club Doctor Newcastle United FC. He graduated from Medicine at Newcastle University in 1999, becoming a full time Emergency Medicine Consultant in 2008. He received his Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine from Bath University in 2007 and began working full time in elite sport in 2009. Paul has previously worked for the Football Association as team doctor for England Futsal, England U17, England U16 and at the World University Games with the Great Britain University Football Team in 2005. He worked at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and has been a medical officer at the Great North Run. He is currently the Sports and Exercise Medicine Training Programme Director for the Northern Deanery.