Australia’s longest-serving AFL coach Damien Hardwick is the latest big name to join Levin Health’s sports advisory board.
Hardwick, who uses medicinal cannabis to treat chronic pain after a bike-riding accident 10 years ago, joins basketball Hall of Famer Lauren Jackson, fellow AFL coach Alastair Clarkson, and champion jockey Damien Oliver on the board.
He said: “I’ve tried everything to help with my pain, mainly anti-inflammatories and heavy pain-killers. While these helped to some degree, I didn’t like the side effects that came with them.”
A former player, Hardwick is now senior coach at Richmond Football Club and has the longest continuous service of any current AFL coach.
He added: “[As a] Levin Health shareholder, I’m very happy to help [them] shine a light on the huge potential medicinal cannabis may have to help people live their life to the fullest.
“One of the reasons I’m an investor is because I trust the research they’re doing.”
The sports science company recently received ethics approval for a clinical trial, in collaboration with Zelira Therapeutics and La Trobe University, investigating the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating people with chronic pain following musculoskeletal injury.
It will be led by sports medicine expert Professor Peter Brukner, with more than 100 patients taking part.
Hardwick said: “Peter Brukner has an outstanding reputation in sport. If his team scientifically proves that the Levin Health medicinal cannabis-patented formula is an effective treatment option, then the company will be in a very strong position. Australian researchers are world class so this is a good way to invest the company’s money.”
He noted the company is also planning to conduct research into the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for people suffering with long-term concussion.
“As someone who loves AFL and is worried about the threat concussion presents to the game, I’m very impressed that Levin Health is planning to research whether or not medicinal cannabis can help treat long-term concussion,” Hardwick said.
“It’s not just collision sports that are dealing with concussion, because the majority of brain trauma happens in car crashes and falls. This is a very important initiative and partly why I agreed to join the board.”