Life saving defibrillators for sports clubs

14.06.2017

Spectators and players at community sports clubs will benefit from the statewide rollout of defibrillators announced by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Sports Minister Stuart Ayres.

Mr Perrottet said this year’s budget would allocate $4 million over four years to assist sporting clubs across NSW purchase and maintain Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).

“The first eight minutes after a person has a cardiac arrest are the most critical and early access to CPR and defibrillation can increase the likelihood of survival by up to 75 percent,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We will be rolling out more than 2,500 AED’s over the next four years, under the Local Sports Defibrillation Program, which will also see community members trained in how to use them.”

Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said some form of cardiac arrest is experienced by up to 33,000 people in Australia every year.

“With thousands of spectators and players attending sporting events around the state every week, having AEDs at those venues will save lives,” Mr Ayres said.

Heart attack survivor, 54-year-old Eric Knowles collapsed at his son’s soccer final at Valentine Sports Park in Glenwood in 2015.

“I was one of the lucky ones. A defibrillator had been installed at the ground four weeks earlier. If it hadn’t been there, I would not be here today,” Mr Knowles said.

The defibrillator was donated to Football NSW by the Michael Hughes Foundation whose founder Julie Hughes lost her husband to sudden cardiac arrest in 2013.

“The difference between life and death is people being able to perform CPR and use a AED in the first few minutes,” Ms Hughes said.

Football NSW is pleased with the announcement and looks forward to continuing working with its clubs and Associations to achieve its aim of having AEDs available at every football club in NSW.

While AEDs play a crucial role in saving lives, participants are reminded of the importance of having a health check prior to participating in any physical activity.  Such health checks are aimed at identifying any underlying health issues that participants may have but may be unaware of. 

Football NSW has been encouraging such checks through its “Pink Slip” Campaign launched in 2015. 

The Local Sport Defibrillator Program will seek a co-funding contribution from eligible sports clubs.

Applications from clubs will be invited in the fourth quarter of this year through the Office of Sport and Football NSW will keep its stakeholders updated.