• 02 August 2022

Welcome back to our wrap of the insurance in sport stories that matter from throughout July.

Before we start though, a huge congratulations from Miller to the fantastic Lionesses, who beat Germany 2-1 in front of a record 87,192 crowd at Wembley to claim England’s first victory in a major tournament since 1966. 

Watched by a peak 17.4 million people across the country, the success of the Lionesses promises a watershed moment in the country, and women’s football looks set to go from strength to strength as a result. Congratulations also to The FA, for their part in organising a memorable tournament.

As the BBC’s Gabby Logan expertly put it… 

“They think it’s all over? No, it’s only just begun.”


Haller and Health

We start with news out of Germany where Borussia Dortmund, perennially the Bundesliga’s silver medallists, discovered a testicular tumour during a routine medical examination of new star striker Sebastian Haller - formerly of both West Ham and Ajax. 

The 28-year-old Ivorian only joined the club earlier this summer, but left their pre-season training camp in Switzerland after the discovery. 

At the time, Haller thanked his fans and family for their support, while additional tests were done.

Speaking at the time, Haller said: “Thank you all for your many messages of support and affection since yesterday's announcement. My family and I thank you. I will now focus on my recovery to come back stronger."

Thankfully, due to the early nature of the detection, Haller immediately went in for surgery and - after a number of tests to ensure no further spread - had the tumour removed. 

He will, however, now be out of action for a number of months, with Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl confirming: "The operation went very, very well and he's on the right track. Sebastien will be out for a few months but once we can be more precise about that we will communicate it."

From the entire team at Miller, we send our thoughts and strength to Sebastian while he continues to recover, but it serves as a timely reminder of the importance of career ending insurance, and how critical it is to protect athletes against all manner of eventualities, particularly around health, wellbeing and their ability to play. 


Brain Injury in Rugby

There was some sad news out of the world of rugby this month, when it was revealed that Wales' Grand Slam-winning captain Ryan Jones has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.

The former back row and lock said he had also received the diagnosis of probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in December 2021, a disease that has cursed the NFL for years and has led to serious consequences, both for affected players and those around them.

Specialists have told him he is one of the worst cases they had seen.

"I feel like my world is falling apart," Jones told the Sunday Times.

"And I am really scared. Because I've got three children and three stepchildren, and I want to be a fantastic dad.

"I lived 15 years of my life like a superhero and I'm not. I don't know what the future holds.”

The news comes just months after Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson, who was diagnosed with dementia aged 42, offered to donate his brain to scientists researching brain trauma.

Thompson said he was pledging his brain "to make the game safer".

He added: "I'm pledging my brain so the children of the people I love don't have to go through what I have gone through.

"It's up to my generation to pledge our brains so researchers can develop better treatments and ways to make the game safer."

It’s clear that brain injury continues to be a growing, and worrying, trend across the sport, and one we’ll continue to monitor. Miller is here to support athletes both during their career and beyond as we continue to learn more about these devastating diseases. 


The Commonwealth Baton passes to Birmingham 

And finally, in more positive news, we head to Birmingham, where the Commonwealth Games are finally kicking off. 

72 countries from across the Commonwealth will descend upon 15 venues for the two-week competition, taking on a range of sports and parasports. 

While the likes of England, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will be favourites to top the medal tables, the Commonwealth Games are unique in offering opportunities to talent that previously may have been left undiscovered.

The nature of the Games means that nations that would previously struggle to feature on a global stage - the likes of the Seychelles, Belize, the Isle of Man, Kiribati or Eswatini, for example - will be front and centre to both fans on the ground and to millions watching from their homes. 

For those that breakthrough, the fame and recognition can be dizzying, and earning potential can rise exponentially. As the Games develop, we’re excited to see which talent emerges and, importantly, are here to support anyone when it does.


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