Love of the Game

by The ATLAS Foundation
Love of the Game
May 19, 2023

May 2023 Love of the Game Report

Love of the Game is a campaign which seeks to reduce concussion-related issues arising from contact and non-contact sports. Love of the Game takes a solutions-based approach to the problem by working with athletes, technologists, academics and the business and financial communities to develop new technologies that will prevent, diagnose and treat head injuries in sport.

We are an impassioned community of athletes, players, fans, innovators and experts, united by our love of sport and the desire to, not only protect players of all ages from the potentially devastating impact of head injuries, but also to protect the integrity of the sports we know and love. Love of the Game aims to preserve our sports by reducing the risk of early onset dementia to players, lengthening sporting careers and reducing the fear of taking part.

Our mission statement is:

To protect players of all ages from the potentially devastating impact of head injuries, while also protecting the integrity of the sports we know and love.

Like most sports, success is the product of a whole team. Solving this crisis is no different. We have brought together a unique network of over 600 supporters representing the UK’s major sports, government, academia, technology, science and business. We are forging new and productive relationships with major and grass-roots sporting clubs, research institutes, charitable organisations and major governing sports bodies.

Love of the Game (LOTG) itself represents a meeting of the worlds of sport and business/campaigning through its founders: former England and British and Irish Lions rugby union international Simon Shaw MBE and businessman and dementia care pioneer Laurence Geller CBE. Simon, who played elite rugby for 23 years, now suffers from frequent memory loss, an issue he believes is caused by the severe knocks to the head he faced as a player. Meanwhile, after seeing the debilitating effects of dementia first-hand, hospitality businessman Laurence turned his attention to the world of dementia research, funding and care innovation.

When the two met and shared their mutual love of sport and their respective experiences of severe head injuries and dementia, they decided to found LOTG as a campaign to promote the use science to solve this most pressing issue.

Solutions-based approach

Rather than focusing on the challenges of the past, LOTG’s aim is to protect the players of the future and ensure that future athletes are protected from long term health risks that yesterday’s and today’s players have had to accept. In order to achieve this, LOTG promotes actions across a series of pillars:


  • Improving recognition of the symptoms of concussion
  • Positioning the long-term protection of the head and brain as part of a player’s training regimen and routine


  • Promoting more coherent sharing of information to aid in the identification of diagnosis tools
  • Developing a more sophisticated method of identifying the signs of concussion at the point of impact and for markers over the course of a player’s career
  • Creating impact assessment wearables and big data analysis to grade risk and severity of concussion and the proper course of action needed

Treatment & prevention

  • Promoting multi-disciplinary collaboration (bringing together investors, inventors, researchers and sports experts) to accelerate product development, experimentation and implementation.

Government published an action plan on tackling concussion in sport to help reduce risks associated with head injuries, working with Love of the Game

In February 2022, the UK Government has issued a detailed action plan to deal with Concussion in Sport with Love of the Game and our Chairman, Laurence Geller, integral to planning and delivery.

This came in response to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Select Committee earlier this year.

The plan set out steps that will be taken to improve understanding, awareness, prevention and treatment of concussion in sport in grassroots, educational and elite settings.

These include creating new protocols/guidance for sporting bodies, convening a research forum and bringing together tech companies to find new technological solutions designed to mitigate both the effects of concussion in sport and instances of it happening.

Ongoing WAVi Trials

LOTG continued to part-fund trials which will take place in partnership with both London area and Cornish Rugby Clubs, and include both male and female, adult and youth teams. The trials are supporting amateur and professional sports persons throughout their respective seasons, providing us with new insight into concussion related head injuries.  Following health challenges of one of the Principal Investigators of the trials, LOTG has worked to find a new research partner to take the trials forward into their next phase, and agreement is expected by the end of January 2023.

Driving innovation around concussion related technology - Demonstration Day

A Demo Day is being planned for 2023, and a first international Demo Day is also being considered. LOTG convenes representatives of Government, funders, industry and sports professionals, to encourage sharing of ideas and opportunities for collaboration. LOTG is expecting positive results to be published this year on a second technology which we have been working with.

Guidance on Concussion in Grassroots sport

LOTG worked closely with Government on the launch of ‘If in doubt, sit them out’, the first national guidelines for concussion management in grassroots sport. developing new protocols or guidance around concussion in sport.

LOTG are now working on plans to support the communication and awareness of the new guidance, and have held a Parliamentary Drop-in this month, as part of work to engage Members of Parliament.

LOTG is also working with Government to design and deliver longitudinal studies to assess the effectiveness of the guidelines and inform future improvements.

Cross-sector engagement

LOTG are planning a Downing Street event, with a likely June date. We are working with government on the launch of a new, free app, to assist with return-to-play for grassroots sports participants.

Concussion Centres

LOTG believes it is important to ensure country-wide coverage of access to concussion diagnosis and treatment facilities. This year, we have expanded the network of Regional Sports Concussion Centres to 14 centres in England. In 2023, we intend to add centres from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to ensure all four nations are represented. The network continues to be co-chaired by Professor Peter Hutchinson of the University of Cambridge and Professor Mike Parker of Love of the Game.

In 2023 LOTG will begin to assess the potential, via pilot sites, to create Community Based Sports Concussion Units across the country, with sports stadiums a likely candidate for hosting them. Work will be needed to understand the funding and business models needed to make these units sustainable.

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Organization Information

The ATLAS Foundation

Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @theatlascharity
Project Leader:
Sally Hoddell
Ross-on-Wye , Herefordshire United Kingdom
$87,348 raised of $1,000,000 goal
37 donations
$912,652 to go
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