Support for those with concussion needs to increase: Jack Frost
Advertisement

This was published 9 months ago

Support for those with concussion needs to increase: Jack Frost

The AFL needs to extend their support for players who have their careers ended as a result of concussion according to former Collingwood and Brisbane Lions' defender Jack Frost, who retired in 2018 after 14 concussions.

Frost said that because concussion could potentially affect an individual for the rest of their lives it needed to be treated differently to other career-ending injuries such as a foot or knee injury which could be fixed through treatment.

Under the current system clubs will pay the medical bills of players who need to be treated for injuries sustained in their career for 18 months before AFLPA programs such as the injury and hardship fund kick in to pay for ex-players to have approved treatment.

Lingering effects: Jack Frost.

Lingering effects: Jack Frost. Credit:Getty Images

Frost praised the AFLPA's efforts in supporting players post their career with players allocating $4 million per year to the injury and hardship fund and players who retire due to concussion eligible for career-ending injury payments that relate to their age and income in their final year. Former players can also access scans and free counselling with Frost having his most recent scan just before the end of last year.

Advertisement

"It's not really about me," Frost said.

"It is about the other people it is going to happen to."

The diagnosis of AFL Legend Polly Farmer with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - the first AFL player found with the disease - has pushed the impact of concussion back into the headlines with Frost, who is yet to commit to donating his brain to a brain bank one of a number of former players who retired after repeated head knocks affected their health.

Frost still finds bright light and noise difficult with the impact on his lifestyle reinforced on a recent trip to New Zealand with his partner, Kazmir.

"I am still struggling with a lot of things," Frost said.

"The cafe noise is a real issue. [I was] sitting in a cafe overseas trying to enjoy my holiday and I am as grumpy as all hell. It is pretty obvious what it comes down to.

"Light is still a bit of a pain for me if it is too glary or bright."

Frost admits the passage of time has eased some symptoms and he has been able to take on a role with Frankston VFL as a development coach.

Loading

His head however, in his words, still "blows up" if he takes anything more than a light walk but he is able to do weights at the gym to keep some shape.

The 28-year-old suggested education on concussion be made available to those who live with footballers so they can identify warning signs as to how head knocks might be affecting the player.

He said his partner was the first to notice the effect the head knocks were having on his moods and often it is those people around players rather than the players themselves who see signs emerging.

"They need to be educated because the player is literally in the dark and everyone around them is metaphorically in the dark, which is really hard for both parties because then you just feel more and more isolated," Frost said.

Frost played 56 games and had an estimated 14 concussions during his career. He said there was little the AFL, who refers players with complications due to concussion could do to stop head knocks happening but they needed to ensure support for players affected by concussion was adequate.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading