Liam Picken becomes a HITIQ ambassador


HITIQ is delighted to welcome Liam Picken into the HITIQ family. The AFL veteran retired from the game in 2019 because of ongoing symptoms relating to concussion. Now, in his role as an ambassador for HITIQ he will be helping other players, at all levels, take positive steps to mitigate and manage the risks associated with concussion.

Liam’s career saw him become a stalwart of the Western Bulldogs. The pinnacle for many fans came during the Bulldogs amazing run to the 2016 AFL Premiership. That year he played a crucial role in all four finals including kicking the sealer in the Grand Final.

Having suffered a concussion during pre-season in 2018, Liam missed the rest of that campaign as he tried to recover from the prolonged symptoms he experienced. Despite returning to training his symptoms persisted, so for the sake of his long term health he announced his retirement from the game in 2019.

Now, as part of HITIQ’s push to support players at all levels, Liam is helping to promote its head impact detection, surveillance and management technology. He recently joined the guys on Channel 7’s The Front Bar. They discussed the issue of concussion and Liam showcased some of the HITIQ technology that is being used by his former AFL colleagues and medical teams.

As awareness of concussion increases, so does the focus of medical and performance teams as to its consequences. Medical support now includes technological aids to detect, monitor and mitigate the sort of injury that caused Liam to end his career. Liam is now working with HITIQ to encourage more people to take this issue seriously and use HITIQ technology to help them. He is also keen to donate his brain to science (once he has finished with it) so researchers can learn more about the consequences of multiple head impacts.

Despite the progress at the top end of sport, the vast majority of players compete at junior and amateur levels. Unfortunately support for these players is limited by comparison. Sports authorities have tried to reduce the instances of head impacts with rule changes e.g by limiting heading amongst junior soccer players. However, it is the availability of technology and particularly smart mouthguards that offers a major step forward in protecting grassroots players.

To this end, HITIQ is working with BUPA in a landmark partnership. The industry leaders have combined to provide junior and amateur athletes across Australia with access to the same smart mouthguard technology that is used by the pros. At the elite level, HITIQ technology is used within the AFL, NRL, international Rugby and College Football. Recently its use has expanded to include Ice Hockey via a new partnership with the German Ice Hockey Federation.

Whilst Liam believes that every initiative can help, and showcasing the technology amongst professional players is fantastic, he is especially keen to encourage those outside of the pro ranks to take concussion seriously.

“It’s great to see technology being used by elite athletes now available to local footy players. As a father whose son recently experienced a concussion, I like that the HITIQ Smart Mouthguard and app provides clarity and direction to parents by providing head impact alerts, symptoms to look out for, and how to care for your child at home following a concussion diagnosis from a doctor.”

LIAM PICKEN Athlete Ambassador, HITIQ

A great way for kids and amateur sports participants to do that is by taking advantage of the HITIQ and BUPA partnership. He hopes he will soon be one of many parents that see a smart mouthguard as just a regular piece of kit that everyone is using.

Find our more information about the HITIQ and BUPA partnership.

Find out more about HITIQ and its range of impact detection, management and mitigation technology.