REZON… Headwear keeping you in the game

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Dungannon-born Judith McMinn, former chief operating officer to Tony Blair and director of football at a grassroots level, and her newly-launched, game-changing contact sports headband, Halos, which reduces the risk of brain damage and concussion caused by rotational forces.

Concussion is sport, as you know, is a topic which is very much in the news and is likely to be more so, with several retired sports men and women due to take their sports governing bodies to court this year, following a landmark case against the NFL in the US. The Halos headband is already worn in Premier League football academies and in premiership rugby in the UK.

Judith is extremely passionate about this topic.

Tony Blair’s former chief operating officer, senior change management consultant and board director of Northumberland County Football Association Judith McMinn is bringing awareness, understanding and change around brain trauma in sport and she says is her biggest challenge to date.

Judith writes:

A head injury I witnessed on a hockey pitch over 20 years ago highlighted to me the damaging and life-changing effects of brain trauma.
With the diagnosis of my father’s dementia a few years ago, I see first-hand the physical and cognitive symptoms which are life-changing for dad, our family and friends.
These deeply personal experiences, and being involved in grassroots football in Northumberland, has made me ask over and over again why do we protect our shins and not our brain?
No one could ever give me the answer, so, I researched it, built an expert team, challenged the science, self-funded the development and after two years of efforts I have the world’s most advanced and technically-superior solution to rotational brain injury in contact sports. All from the kitchen table with A-level in physics!
I founded Rezon, the company behind Halos®, the ground-breaking sports headband designed to protect the brain from impacts to the head whilst playing sport, which is already in the Premier League football academies, premiership rugby, BUCS Rugby, Super League in Rugby League and also in private schools.
Wearing Halos® reduces the risk of a potentially career-ending or life-changing concussion and the effects of cumulative brain trauma that lead to long-term neurodegenerative diseases.
Making change happen has always been a part of me. I’m a management consultant, with almost two decades of leading unprecedented commercial, large-scale changes within people-based, high-profile and global environments.

This has included multi-million-pound cost-down programmes, a process review for the largest retail bank in Britain and being the chief operating officer to former prime minister Tony Blair, transforming his business and personal brand in the UK and globally across 30 legal jurisdictions. But in bringing awareness, understanding and change around brain trauma in sport, I really have met my biggest change challenge yet.
Sport can challenge and change society, unlike anything else. It is a culturally powerful, multi-billion-pound commercial industry that transforms lives, businesses, regions and nations.
Women are now, rightly, a more visible part of sport, receiving increased investment, playing in front of more spectators, generating greater media coverage. But where are the women who are leading innovation in sport? Why are sporting equipment and products largely built for and designed by men? Why is performance in sport seen before the neck, being stronger, faster, leaner. Why is sport, its coaches, teams and players not concerned with protecting their performance?
Rotational brain injury causes concussion and increases the risk of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and long-term neurodegenerative diseases including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The brain defines performance in sport, and life.

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