Today, at Wales’ National team open training session in Wrexham, The Football Association of Wales announced their partnership with Welsh Hearts, The Heart Charity for Wales.
The long-term aim of the partnership is to deliver lifesaving defibrillators, equipment and training to all football clubs in Wales.
To kick off the partnership, the National team have donated their match fees to fund the first six defibrillators, one for every area association in Wales.
Wrexham based Llangollen Football Club were present at the training session to be the first recipients of the FAW and Welsh Hearts defibrillator fitted at their ground.
Harry Wilson, who grew up in Corwen just outside Llangollen, presented the club with their defibrillator alongside captain Ashley Williams and manager Ryan Giggs.
Football clubs and training facilities across Wales are often the hub of communities, used by many different teams and community groups. However, many of these integral community spaces currently do not have defibrillators installed.
This unique partnership between The FAW and Welsh Hearts aims to change that and ensure that in the future every player and spectator in every football club in Wales, no matter how big or small, will have access to a lifesaving defibrillator.
Football Association of Wales Medical Services Manager & Lead Physiotherapist, Sean Connelly added:
“At The Football Association of Wales, we recognize the importance of investing in the health and wellbeing of our footballers and the wider community groups using football facilities across the country.”
“With this partnership we will work together to fundraise to aid Welsh Hearts with the amazing work they do for heart health in Wales and together we hope that this equipment will minimise the terrible instances from sudden cardiac arrests that have occurred in football grounds across Wales”.
Sharon Owen, the Director of Welsh Hearts says:
“This initiative is a perfect match to the ambitious work of Welsh Hearts in communities throughout Wales. We believe the impact on lives will be far-reaching, as no one should die in Wales due to a lack of a public access defibrillator in the event of an emergency. They should be available everywhere. I am excited to work with the FAW as they are at the heart of communities in Wales.”
To join the Football Association of Wales and Wales’ leading Heart Charity help safeguard our footballers and spectators across the country you can donate via the JustGiving site: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/welshhearts/faw
To apply for a defibrillator: http://welshhearts.org/online-defibrillator-application-form/
Photocall from today’s event:
- Welsh Hearts, established by Sharon Owen, are the leading heart charity in Wales for placing defibrillators in communities and delivering CPR and defibrillator training in Wales.
- Cardiovascular disease accounts for a third of all deaths in Wales, where the death rate is higher than in the majority of countries in Western Europe.
- Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise and those with an inherited heart condition can be up to three times as likely to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest if they participate in intensive or strenuous exercise.
- A defibrillator is an automatic device that can be used by the public to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm during cardiac arrest.
- For every minute without CPR and defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 per cent.
- By performing CPR and using a defibrillator until an ambulance arrives, you can help double the victim’s chance of survival.
- Welsh Hearts aim to provide public-access defibrillators and free defibrillator and CPR training for the Welsh public in close partnership with strategic partners.