Former NRL wing Nick Youngquest reveals post-career seizures

Nick Youngquest is tackled while playing for the Penrith Panthers in a NRL game against the Rabbitohs in 2007.


Nick Youngquest is tackled whereas taking part in for the Penrith Panthers in a NRL recreation in opposition to the Rabbitohs in 2007.

Former NRL wing Nick Youngquest has opened up concerning the seizures he suffered following his rugby league profession.

On the floor, Youngquest, who performed for the Panthers, Bulldogs, Sharks, and Dragons between 2003-08, seamlessly transitioned from skilled rugby league participant to on a regular basis life.

His profession after soccer was way more glamorous than the generations earlier than him who purchased a pub, went again on the instruments, turned private trainers or coached within the bush.

Inside months of retiring in 2012 after stint in English Tremendous League, he was thrust into the world of modelling because the face of Paco Rabanne’s males’s perfume Invictus.

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“The primary shoot I did was on the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, evoking this character who’s a champion and a winner,” Youngquest mentioned. “After I was in entrance of the digital camera the primary day, I used to be shitting myself. I went from taking part in a working class recreation to being in entrance of a crew of 200 individuals.”

Former rugby league player turned model Nick Youngquest attends 'GQ Men Of The Year' awards in Madrid last November.


Former rugby league participant turned mannequin Nick Youngquest attends ‘GQ Males Of The Yr’ awards in Madrid final November.

What few individuals find out about was the terrifying second in Paris quickly after when Youngquest suffered a seizure whereas strolling alongside the Champs-Elysees. He was unconscious and frothing from the mouth earlier than waking up with 5 paramedics standing excessive of him.

“I’ve by no means actually brazenly mentioned that as a result of I performed on the wing,” he mentioned. “Folks assume, ‘Grasp on, mate, you had been solely a winger’. I by no means had any main concussions, but it surely’s all these little knocks which can be in all probability the worst, since you carry on taking part in. It was kind of like what Andrew Johns has described about his seizures: actually vivid deja vu that’s so deep that it is scary.”

Youngquest, 36, is opening up about his life post-football to advertise his Athletes four Life (A4L) initiative, which helps sportspeople of all codes transition into retirement by way of operating marathons.

He is getting a group collectively for the Sydney Marathon in September this yr, and has already recruited former NRL gamers Ben Ross and Joe Williams, who’ve each talked publicly about their struggles in retirement.

Models Nieves Alvarez, Nick Youngquest, and Luma Grothe attend the 'Glamour' Beauty Awards photocall in Madrid in 2017.


Fashions Nieves Alvarez, Nick Youngquest, and Luma Grothe attend the ‘Glamour’ Magnificence Awards photocall in Madrid in 2017.

“Once you stroll out the door after your final recreation, your life as you already know it ceases to exist.

“No one’s written on the board what it’s important to do right this moment, no person is organising your life, your jersey is not folded.

“I had occasions after I felt nugatory and helpless. I used to be nowhere close to as dangerous as others, but it surely existed. What helped me was operating.

“We need to create this community or pathway for athletes, women and men, to reconnect with their athletic id by way of operating. I will by no means win a marathon however I’m racing in opposition to myself.”

Youngquest has accomplished six marathons, from New York to Berlin, and desires to take the A4L initiative international, too.

“We need to be as inclusive as potential. We’ll construct groups of individuals, from all sports activities, to take part. If athletes cannot run due to accidents from their taking part in days, we’ll use them in ambassador roles.”

As for his seizures, Youngquest mentioned they have been saved in verify with remedy and a wholesome life-style. Like Williams and different rugby league gamers, he says he’ll donate his mind for the needs of Persistent Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) analysis.

“I’ve had EEG exams and MRIs and so they present nothing,” he mentioned. “However with all the knowledge my physician has collected, she’s sure it stems from too many mind accidents.”