Monday 29 January 2024 – Podium Analytics (“Podium”), the charity committed to reducing injury in youth and grassroots sport, is excited to announce a new partnership with The Rugby Players Association (“The RPA”).
The RPA is the representative body and collective voice of elite rugby players in England, that represents more than 600 male and female current rugby players, as well as over 100 former players. Its mission is to support, promote and protect the interests of its members, from the moment they sign their first professional contracts, throughout their playing careers, and beyond as they embark on the next phase of their lives.
The RPA and Podium Analytics are joining forces to continue the advancement of change in the professional game of rugby that will promote and improve player welfare. The plan for the partnership is to advocate for this through research into injury prevention and call for change to rules and regulations to reduce the risk of injury in rugby.
The RPA will work to promote research projects that are being undertaken by The Podium Institute for Sports Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford and Podium’s partners and stakeholders. These projects have been formally endorsed by the RPA Board to drive maximum buy-in and participation in relevant studies from RPA members. One example of this is the multimodal head injury study, which aims to result in the development of a Head Injury Dose Model for Rugby Union.
The essential insights and learnings that are taken from the professional game will be pivotal in implementing effective change at the grassroots and youth level over time, so that the game of rugby can evolve to better protect players at all levels.
Andy Hunt, Chief Executive at Podium Analytics, commented: “This valuable partnership with The Rugby Players Association will help us promote player welfare and advocate for regulations that help keep people playing the sport they love for longer. We are a science-led organisation, and this research collaboration will be key to providing the data and evidence that underpin our recommendations for the professional sport – and the translational research that ensures the grassroots community benefit too. 2024 is going to be an exciting year for us both, and one with more sport and less injury.”
Christian Day, General Secretary of the RPA, said: “We’re excited to announce this partnership between The Rugby Players Association and Podium Analytics. We want players to be as safe as can be on the pitch whilst also retaining the essence of what rugby union is all about – a fast, physical and exciting sport. To have the support and expertise of an organisation like Podium will provide a scientific depth and understanding of what the players go through and the initiatives that we have in the pipeline will provide a step forward for players in this country.”