Castle opens up on Alopecia
Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle has opened up about her battle with alopecia and the confusion her appearance can cause.
Castle was first diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out, at the age of 34 when she noticed her hair was thinning.
She has used hair extensions, wigs and bandannas to compensate over the years.
‘‘It’s got nothing to do with stress and I don’t have cancer,’’ Castle, 47, told ESPN.
‘‘My brother suffers from it as well – he has not a single hair on his entire body; no eyelashes, no eyebrows at the moment.
‘‘For me, I go through cycles where my hair falls out but then grows back again. So while I’m in a period of my hair falling out, I have to wear a hat or a bandanna, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not channelling Peter Fitzsimmons,’’ she added of the former Australian rugby player turned journalist who frequently wears a bandanna on his bald head.
Austalian-born but New Zealand-raised, Castle has made her mark across the Tasman as a pioneering female administrator in traditional male sporting domains – as CEO of the Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL and now at rugby HQ in Sydney.
She felt women were judged differently for their clothing and appearance.
‘‘People can be really cruel. At the end of the day I understand the issue, but people judging you for your appearance, saying ‘what are you, a pirate or a Muslim’ and those sorts of comments when they are uneducated to the issue that I face, is just one of those things,’’ Castle said.
Castle, a former CEO of Netball New Zealand, first spoke about her hair condition in 2014 after taking on the Bulldogs job.
She hoped revisiting the subject would help other business women with similar conditions.
‘‘When I talked about it originally, I was concerned about three things: one, I didn’t want people to think I had cancer. Secondly, it’s not stress related – sure I could be healthier and do more exercise, but fundamentally that doesn’t make any difference – it’s just an autoimmune issue that my body has. Thirdly, I want to share my experiences with some young females in the business environment who are struggling with Alopecia.’’ Phil Mickelson has apologised four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the US Open, saying his frustration got the best of him.
The apology came yesterday in a statement.
‘‘I know this should’ve come sooner, but it’s taken me a few days to calm down,’’ Mickelson said.
‘‘My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.’’
Mickelson was struggling in the third round when he reached the 13th green.
His bogey putt from above the hole ran by the cup and was headed down a slope when he trotted over and swatted it back toward the hole with the ball still in motion. He was assessed a twostroke penalty, scored a 10 on the hole and wound up shooting 81.
Later, after acknowledging he was using Rule 14-5 to his advantage, Mickelson called USGA officials for clarification on the rule after hearing suggestions he should be disqualified from the US Open. USGA officials said disqualification was not in order for his violation.