Croft Juniors FC has joined the growing numbers of community sports clubs to get a defibrillator and life-saving training, thanks to its partnership with a local charity.
The football club from Leicestershire, which has 200 members aged from four to 15, has installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) on the wall of its pavilion at the Winston Avenue sports ground, in Croft.
The defibrillator was funded by donations from local businesses Apollo Distribution and Direct Electrical, as well as by the club's 'recycle and save' scheme, recycling used football boots within the club. Funding for the AED's protective cabinet has been provided by the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT). As well as funding the defibrillator box, the JHMT's specialist trainer Alan Harrison White – a former cardiac nurse – has also been running free Joe's Mini HeartStart For Sports training sessions in CPR and defibrillator use for all the members including volunteers and young players.
Dave Wilson, chairman of Croft Juniors FC said:
"We're all very pleased to have a public access defibrillator installed locally.
"We share the aims of the JHMT in inspiring young people to fulfill their potential and develop their talents, and to increase the number of defibrillators available in the community.
"We fully support their magnificent efforts to reduce the number of lives lost through heart dysrhythmia and we would urge all sports clubs to look into providing a defibrillator to the surrounding community. Nothing can be more important than saving a life."
Steve Humphries from the JHMT said:
"We're delighted to have worked alongside Dave Wilson and his colleagues at Croft Juniors FC to help create a heartsafe environment at their home base, which also hosts other forms of recreational activity for people of all ages. Having coaches, players and volunteers trained in hands-on CPR and having access to a defibrillator should form a key part of all Leicestershire sports clubs' duty of care plans."
"Forewarned is forearmed, as sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone of any age, including fit and healthy young people, without any warning."
"The work of Joe's Trust goes on as the challenge ahead is to try to create a level playing field across all levels of local sport, from elite to grassroots, where being fully prepared and equipped to save a life becomes the norm."