The Drake Foundation: uniting sport, science and society
The Drake Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation committed to understanding and improving the health and welfare of sports players through scientific research and collaboration. Launched in 2014, we have already invested over £2 million into research funding and open access resources that unite sport, science and society.
Much of our work to-date has centred on concussion and head injuries in sport – our projects have brought together the brightest minds across science and sport, investigating the diagnosis, pathology, prevalence and management of concussions, primarily in rugby and football. We believe the knowledge from these projects will serve not only to improve sports safety, but also provide valuable insights into the processes underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.
We started our work in rugby union, where 2016/17 season statistics demonstrated concussions to be the most common of all match injuries with 169 concussions recorded across the season. Having now launched projects in both active and retired professional rugby union players, we have also expanded our reach to launch research projects in professional football.
With multiple ground-breaking concussion projects underway, we are also in the process of growing our portfolio of research funding to investigate the long-term effects of playing and retiring out of professional sport on mental and physical health.
The aim of all our research and educational projects is not only to affect positive change in professional sport, but also to consider how findings can be translated into grassroot sports settings and may benefit wider society.