Catching up with Connor Lynes
16 year old Connor Lynes has been a symbol of strength and togetherness in the rugby community since suffering a life changing brain injury on the field two years ago. Connor keeps busy raising awareness for rugby related brain injuries, whilst helping amateur rugby team Lambwath Lions and supporting Hull KR. I caught up with Connor to speak about his foundation
1. Who would you say is the best player currently playing in the Super League?
"I have to say Jonny lomax from Saints. Jonny suffered a serious brain injury when he was 14 and he has shown true grit and determination to get back playing! Jonny is now a top quality super league player who is exciting to watch!"
2. As you know, Grassroots Rugby Media covers several amateur rugby teams, who would you say is the best amateur rugby team in Hull?
"This is hard! I'm Lambwath through and through so my heart says Lambwath! We have a complete new set up, and are planning hard for the future. Lambwath have had a very hard few years but I believe were coming back from the brink now and planning ahead. I respect all of the amateur clubs in Hull and I think each club is doing an amazing job! Each club stands by each other we are one big family!"
3. You're heavily involved in rugby and watch a lot of rugby. What do you think makes a good rugby player?
"I think being a skillful player helps and being able to read the game. But it's not the be all and end all, I think respect and attitude is important, as well as being a team player"
4. What is your foundation about?
"Team Connor was set up after my injury. I wanted to give back to those who helped me as well as trying to raise awareness of brain injury in sport. Team Connor was formed with the support of local charity life for a kid, we raise funds for charities including Leeds Picu and the RFL benevolent fund. I also raise awareness by talking about my journey and doing various events and campaigns in order to educate people about brain injury and it's devastating effects. A brain injury doesn't only affect the injured player, but it can affect an entire family"
5. What has life been like since your injury?
" It's been very hard! I struggle with fatigue, seizures, memory loss and weakness in my arms and legs. I also suffer with headaches as well as learning difficulties. I find it hard to process verbal information. I still have the clot on my brain and a significant narrowing of my brain stem which makes me very high risk of stroke. I've had 2 strokes and 6 mini strokes and I have been in and out of hospital since my accident. I currently take medication which thins my blood, however the slightest knock to my head I have to go to hospital.
Doctors said I wouldn't survive, but I'm here and still proving them wrong. I go to bed not knowing what each day would bring, but I fight everyday! As hard as it may seem, there is always someone worse off and fighting harder battles "
6. What support have you received?
" Where do I start it has been amazing I wish I could thank each and every person individually! There have been thousands who I can't thank enough! The RFL benevolent fund have been by my side from day one! The stroke association and the Child Brain Injury Trust have also shown me great support. The rugby league family has shown me fantastic support and spurred me on. The support has helped me and my family through some very dark days, and still does! I can't thank everyone enough for the amazing support far and wide!"
7. Finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
" I'm currently working along side Life For A Kid and Outbox to bring over a state of the art sensory station to help brain injured and autistic adults, as well as children. We hope to launch this soon and we'll be the first in the UK to use this equipment! I also hope to help children with recovery and rehab, so I'm aiming towards work within neurology helping others"
Thanks for taking the time to speak to GRM! And keep up the fantasitc work Connor!