Rothley Park leading the way in being heartsafe

A local cricket club has taken part in CPR and defibrillator training to make sure as many of its members as possible know what it means to be heartsafe.

Rothley Park Cricket Club, one of the leading advocates of the Leicestershire Heart Awareness in Cricket programme, invited specialist volunteers from local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) to come and deliver the training to players and club staff.

Heart Awareness in Cricket is a collaboration between Leicestershire County Cricket Club, JHMT and Heartwize, and aims to provide all Leicestershire Everards Premier League clubs with dedicated support, advice and guidance so that they can access funding to secure a defibrillator, external cabinet and training to help prevent sudden heart deaths.

Those learning the vital life-saving skills included former England, Leicestershire and Lancashire county cricketer Philip DeFreitas, who is head coach for the Rothley club.

Philip said: “It’s really important that all players have the knowledge and understanding to provide CPR to other team members should it be required – even though hopefully, it won’t be needed.

“All players, whatever their age, should know the drill – that you contact the emergency services, use a defib and commence CPR. We all need to be prepared.” 

Steve Thomason from the club added: “We’ve had a defibrillator available for more than a year now, and we are proud to be ambassadors for Heart Awareness in Cricket, which is encouraging other Leicestershire cricket clubs to get defibrillators and learn how they could help to prevent sudden heart deaths.

“Over the winter, we’ve had a new pavilion built, so we now have the defibrillator located on the outside of this. The extra space provided by our new facilities also gave us the ideal chance to do some training. We hope to have even more training on offer for coaches and other players later in the year.”

The thriving club – which has more than 100 youngsters in its junior section –  has strong links with the JHMT, as the charity is based in the same village. Over the past few years, the cricket club has raised money for the JHMT through its annual Party in the Park community fund-raising event. 

This year’s Party in the Park takes place at the club on Sunday 27 August, from noon, with free admission.

JHMT medical lead and former intensive care consultant Dr Mike Ferguson, who delivered the training, said: “JHMT has been working closely with Rothley Park Cricket Club to help them set up their public access defibrillator, including supplying a £600 grant for the defibrillator box, so that it’s accessible to the local community 24/7.

“I was delighted to deliver the free, hands-on CPR and defibrillator familiarisation training as part of the heart awareness In Cricket programme. Providing this sort of advice, expertise and support is exactly what the JHMT is all about.”

The JHMT offers free training to sports clubs across the city and county, in an effort to ensure that as many people as possible know how to save a life if an emergency occurs.

It also works to promote awareness of sudden heart deaths, after the death from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) of Rothley lad Joe Humphries, in 2012, aged just 14.

To find out more about the JHMT or enquire about training for your club, visit www.jhmt.org.uk

You can also follow the Trust on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/jhmtorguk or @jhmt.org.uk

OUR SPONSORS