Rugby player turned entrepreneur targets funding for recovery product

Former Scotland under-21 Cameron Johnston was forced to retire after a tackle broke his back. Picture: contributed.
Former Scotland under-21 Cameron Johnston was forced to retire after a tackle broke his back. Picture: contributed.
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A former Scotland rugby international is seeking financial backing for the launch of a “first of its kind” compression cuff to aid muscle recovery.

Cameron Johnston, who was forced to retire from the sport after a life-threatening injury, has founded sports and injury recovery specialist Riixo.

The Edinburgh-based firm’s Recovery Cuff, described as a pioneering heat and ice compression product, is designed to speed up the recovery of muscle and soft tissue.

Former Scotland under-21 Johnston is now in the process of sourcing capital for Riixo, including via a crowdfunding campaign scheduled to run this summer through, ahead of an official product launch in September.

The microfibre cuff has an integrated gel that can be frozen or heated at home. Variations have been created for knees, calves, thighs, forearms and ankles, while two versions are designed for amputees.

Now second-in-command for the British Army’s rehabilitation unit in Scotland, Johnston was forced to withdraw from playing rugby after a tackle broke his back.

He has since completed degrees in sport science and physiotherapy, and worked in the NHS for four years before entering the Royal Army Medical Corp.

Johnston has spent the past year researching design and customer demographics and has received support from Business Gateway Edinburgh in areas such as intellectual property, growth planning and marketing.

Cameron said: “Sports injuries and conditions like arthritis can have a huge impact on someone’s quality of life, and equally, being limited by muscle ache can limit any progress made in training.”

He also sees a lack of suitable equipment for people playing sport. “I understand first-hand the impact that sport injuries can have on a person’s mental health, and speedy return or improved quality of life is important, which is why I created Riixo to help people in the same position I was in, to manage their pain and recover more quickly.”

Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, added: “Riixo is an innovative product which we are absolutely delighted to work with Cameron to help get off the ground.”