Branding rugby as child abuse has led to a heated debate between callers on Lunchtime Live.
Researchers from University of Winchester in the UK have advised that permitting children to take part in impact sports, such as rugby and boxing, should be considered a form of abuse to the child’s brain.
A new study examined the strength of medical evidence showing impact sports cause serious brain injuries and concluded that this harm “runs counter to existing laws around child abuse.”
University of Winchester Professor of Sport Eric Anderson, who led the study, told the show there is more and more proof.
“It’s entirely fair because it’s entirely abusive to a child’s brain,” he said.
“I know it’s a highly-emotive topic, people love rugby etc, but people also love tag rugby.
“Tag rugby doesn’t intentionally structure trauma into a child’s brain.
“We have decades of research on this now, and every new research project that comes out is worse and worse.
“The [US] National Institutes of Health and the Centres for Disease Control have both stated, definitively, that there’s a cause and effect relationship between the micro-trauma that occurs as a regular occurance in children’s tackle rugby, boxing or other high-impact
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