Sport United Against Dementia: Premier League, ECB and Sky Sports join Alzheimer's Society campaign board

Sporting figures from the Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board and Premiership Rugby join the Sport United Against Dementia board; Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster also part of the Alzheimer's Society campaign

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Leading medical specialists discuss a study finding that saliva could be tested pitchside to see if a player has got a concussion

The Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board and Premiership Rugby are among the leading organisations teaming up in the fight to tackle dementia.

Alzheimer's Society revealed a number of sporting figures have joined the board for the charity's Sport United Against Dementia campaign.

The operation aims to unite the collective power and reach of sport to make a transformative difference to people affected by dementia in the sporting community and beyond.

Premier League executive director Bill Bush, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board Tom Harrison, and chief commercial officer of Premiership Rugby Mark Brittain are among the individuals joining the board.

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New PFA dementia advisor Dawn Astle, daughter of Jeff Astle, will help shape the dementia care provision at the players union for former and current footballers

Bush said: "We are pleased to be joining other sports organisations and broadcasters to work together to build awareness of dementia in our communities. Sport plays a vital role in the lives of so many and it can help people remain connected through the clubs they know and love.

"Through our partnership with Sport United Against Dementia, we will build on the existing work carried out by Premier League clubs to increase support for fans and communities and help break down stigma to ensure millions more people access dementia support."

Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster is among the new board members from broadcasting, along with Niall Sloane (director of sport at ITV), Barbara Slater (director of BBC Sport) and Duncan Jones (an Alzheimer's Society Trustee and former editor of BBC Sport).

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Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith admits he is 'worried' about a potential link between heading in football and dementia

Other names joining the board from the world of football include Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers Association, and head of commercial affairs at the FA James MacDougall.

Martyn Phillips (former chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union) and Guy Lavender (chief executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club) are also on the board, which is chaired by Alzheimer's Society Ambassador Richard Thompson, the non-executive chairman of Surrey Cricket Club.

Thompson said: "We want this campaign to be a gamechanger, and together, we hope to leave a legacy by harnessing the unparalleled reach of sport to make a transformative difference to the lives of people affected by dementia today, and for generations to come."

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Former Ireland and Lions wing Tommy Bowe told Sky Sports News he hopes the new saliva tests will help towards removing the 'ambiguity' surrounding concussion issues in rugby union and other sports

The Sport United Against Dementia board will meet regularly to help break down stigma and create a truly dementia inclusive industry by working in partnership with clubs.

The campaign will help Alzheimer's Society equip clubs with the tools and knowledge to further raise awareness of dementia and the support available and enable people affected by the condition to remain part of the game and continue enjoying and supporting the clubs they love.

The campaign will ensure players, managers, ex-players, and fans know about, and have access to, dedicated dementia support, by funding key elements of Alzheimer's Society's revolutionary Dementia Connect service. Money raised will fund crucial roles and support the development of vital dementia resources and guidance. Alzheimer's Society's services have been used over 3.7 million times since March 2020.

Sport United Against Dementia will also add to existing research to help further knowledge and better identify and prevent dementia at its earliest stages among the general population, bringing hope to future generations.

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