The Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club

Historic city cricket club has its finger on the pulse when it comes to heart safety

The Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club, based off Aylestone Road in New Bridge Street, has nearly 180 playing members, with 120 of these juniors – both boys and girls – ranging in age from five to 18.

Accredited by the England and Wales Cricket Board, the club is based at the historic Aylestone Road ground, which was home to Leicestershire County Cricket Club between 1901 and 1946. A number of cricketing legends, including WG Grace and Sir Don Bradman, have played there. A very successful table tennis club shares the pavilion, and local school Hazel Community Primary also uses the site for its PE lessons.

The city based club are one of the growing number of cricket club's to join the Trust's campaign to create a heartsafe sporting and community environment across Leicestershire and Leicester. Working with the Trust's AED lead Charles Poole, has resulted in the club having a new defibrillator attached to the outside wall of its cricket pavilion making it available to the public, if needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As well as funding the defibrillator box, the JHMT's specialist trainer Alan Harrison White – a former cardiac nurse – will also be running free Joe's Mini HeartStart For Sports training sessions in CPR and defibrillator use for all the members including volunteers. and young players.

The club's junior section manager Ian Jefferis said:

"We bought the defibrillator by fund-raising in the club. The majority of the money was raised by a good friend of the club, Dave Goodacre.

"The not insignificant cost of the defib pads is being kindly sponsored by the Aylestone House Dental Practice, while the defib box, which houses the defibrillator, was kindly donated by local charity the JHMT."

At least 12 young people aged 12-35 die in Britain each week from undiagnosed genetic heart problems like SADS. Such problems can come to light during sporting activities, but if CPR is started immediately, done effectively (by a trained person with the victim lying flat) and a defibrillator can be got to the victim within eight minutes, the majority of people could be saved, without brain damage.

Since Joe's death, his family and friends have worked tirelessly to campaign for a better understanding of sudden, unexpected heart deaths in young people, and set up the JHMT to campaign for more CPR training and defibrillators in schools, community venues and sports clubs.

Dr Mike Ferguson from the JHMT said:

"Once clubs have a defibrillator installed, it's vital that people are trained in how to use it – because it is both access to a defibrillator and effective CPR that make a difference to survival rates. The JHMT is delighted to provide this training so that the Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club can become heartsafe."

Adam Squance, the club's first aid co-ordinator, said:

"I hope the defibrillator is never used. However, if it is, it will provide a fighting chance. This is a club of great achievement, with a ground steeped in history. I hope the amazing achievement of getting this equipment will show our commitment to the club and community around us."

Ian added:

"We hope that our purchase and registration of the defib will encourage other clubs to do the same, thus widening the coverage of this vital lifesaving equipment so that when we play away, our players are also within easy reach of this help if needed."

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