A former Sale Sharks rugby star forced to retire by a succession of concussions has launched a new Altrincham-based supplements business.
Jonny Kennedy, who played for Sale Sharks between 2007-2011 and is the son of former club owner Brian Kennedy, has launched Neubria, a “unique range of vitamins and supplements for the mind and body”.
The range offers support for optimal daily performance, targeted solutions to boost sleep, focus and energy, and everyday essential multivitamins.
Based on Church Street, Neubria says it has involved renowned experts in neuroscience, human performance, pharmacy and nutrition in its products.
The company has national listings in both Holland & Barrett and Lloyds Pharmacy.
Kennedy said: “As a professional rugby player, it’s obvious you’d spend a lot of time working on your physical strength and health.
“And supplements that go with this are all geared towards building muscle or helping recover from an intense workout session. It’s very different now, but at the time, there was very little focus, if any, given to mental or emotional wellness.
“Having suffered with mental health during my career, after retirement, and having lost former team-mates and friends to suicide, my ultimate goal was to create efficacious health products that made a difference in people’s lives – products that combine physical, mental and emotional benefits.
“We rely heavily on our minds and bodies to perform at their best, but often we don’t care for them equally. For years, the vitamin and supplements industry has been creating products that fill nutritional gaps and take a single-minded approach to supporting physical health, but we know our health needs are much more complex than that.
“I believe to perform at our absolute best, we must nurture our minds, as well as our bodies, and that’s been the focus for Neubria since day one.”
Kennedy represented England and Scotland at under-18 and under-20 level before his career was abruptly halted, aged just 21, due to concussion injuries.
He continued to play matches and train with the side effects of concussion until being pulled out of training to undergo cognitive testing by Sale Sharks’ doctors.
The results started a chain of events which eventually led Kennedy, under consultation with the club’s board and multiple neuroscientists, to retire from the game to protect his long-term health.