Pro surfers join Wipeout Dementia

Wipeout Dementia: (l-r) Steve Watson of Steve Watson & Partners, Peter Clemesha of Avenor, Craig Rodgers of TSA Advisory, Anthony Scotts of AWM, Darren Beasley of Novm, Michael Gordon of Buildcorp and Philip Vivian of Bates Smart. Credit: Sprout Daily

Surfing icons Owen Wright and Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo are collaborating with property industry leaders to confront the rising dementia crisis. They’re participating in the Wipeout Dementia event at Bondi Beach on April 5, 2024, organised by UNSW’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA).

The event, supported by surf legend Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew AM, aims to promote lifelong physical activity as a dementia prevention measure.

2020 Olympic bronze medalist Owen Wright witnessed the start of his father’s decline to dementia not long after Wright suffered a traumatic brain injury from a heavy wipeout while competing for a world title at Pipeline.

“Dad was there for me when I needed him most throughout my recovery and life,” says Wright, who recently retired from professional surfing.

Wipeout Dementia, now in its 13th year, brings together 56 surfers from the property sector to support dementia research. The event has raised over $2.5 million.

CHeBA directors, Professors Henry Brodaty and Perminder Sachdev, stress the importance of early diagnosis and prevention strategies, particularly for vascular dementia. They advocate for biomarker development to facilitate early detection and intervention.

As reported earlier today, research suggests dementia cases are likely to double by 2054.


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