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Hedkayse lead rugby player safety revolution following a meeting of minds at  Harborough Innovation Centre

Hedkayse lead rugby player safety revolution following a meeting of minds at Harborough Innovation Centre

A chance meeting at a Harborough Innovation Centre Spotlight networking event has resulted in boosting safety measures for rugby players from grassroots to internationals on a global scale.

When former Leicester, England and British Lions rugby player, Tim Stimpson visited Harborough Innovation centre to hear about the ground-breaking steps Hedkayse were making with cycle helmet safety design, he was excited about the potential the innovative new technology could also be used to better protect the brain health of rugby players.

Tim Stimpson, who won five Premiership titles and won 19 caps for England, has developed concerns about his children playing rugby due to the exposure of repeated head injuries.

George Fox, Managing Director of Hedkayse, previously featured on the BBC television programme, Dragons Den, had delivered a fascinating talk on Hedkayse’ new innovations in developing cycle helmets.

The cycle helmets have multiple benefits and use a performance impact foam  technology called Enkayse to reduce impact injuries. The technology is unique because it’s currently the only product in the world which can recover its structural integrity after impact.

Tim’s talks with George prepared the way for a groundbreaking step forward with the design of rugby headguards.

Traditional rugby headguards don’t protect the brain and use soft foam designed only to protect from cosmetic injuries such as abrasions, ‘cauliflower ear’ and minor cuts.

Now, thanks to a chance meeting of entrepreneurial minds, Hedkayse have created a revolutionary sports headguard with superior coverage of the head, and earlier this year was approved for use by World Rugby

The cutting-edge headguards deliver a massive 75% reduction in linear impact from a direct blow and it’s unique design means it better protects delicate areas of the brain including the occipital lobe

By reducing the force of these impacts, Hedkayse hope to mitigate the risk to long-term brain health of players, highlighted by a legal case involving hundreds of ex-players who are living with neurological injuries they say are a result of governing bodies failing to put in place reasonable measures to protect them. Those involved include former RWC2003-winning Saint Steve Thompson and former Scotland flyer Seam Lamont who spent four seasons at Franklin’s Gardens.  

The documented, long-term negative effects of repetitive head injuries have threatened the sport at grassroots level with many schools considering axing rugby from the curriculum.

However, together, by educating young players in the importance of  hydration, tackle technique, and the value of neck strength, it is hoped the Hedkayse headguard will take a giant step forward in reducing the risk to both the short, and long-term brain health of players. .

Hedkayse, based at Harborough Innovation Centre on the edge of Market Harborough in south Leicestershire, are an ethical and clean-focused company. 

Employees purposefully work with local textiles and production companies across the Midlands, including in Oadby, Derbyshire and Corby to push forward developments in their technology and are looking at using Enkayse, to boost safety in several sporting activities, across the globe.

It is testament of the type of businesses and entrepreneurs who are stimulated by the real-life benefits of collaborating with other like-minded innovators, creatives and strategists and striving forward to be the best.

If you’re inspired to join the guest list for future Harborough Innovation Spotlight network events please get in touch today:

Harborough Innovation Centre is owned and managed by Harborough District Council

Harborough Innovation Centre,
Airfield Business Park,
Leicester Rd,
Market Harborough LE16 7WB

Tel: 01858 414 200 | Email:

To find out more about Hedkayse’ ground breaking work or to buy the safest rugby headguard in the world for you or a loved one  – check out their website today: Body activated impact protection –

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