SPORTS leaders across the Vale have taken a “positive” step on their mission to ensure there is accessible lifesaving equipment at sports venues.
As previously reported sports leaders from across the Vale of Glamorgan met with MP Alun Cairns to discuss plans to rollout defibrillators to all sports facilities in the Vale of Glamorgan – including Barry and Penarth.
The importance of access to defibrillators at sporting facilities was given national attention when footballer Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest at the Euro 2020 tournament.
The local campaign was triggered by the sudden death of Sully cricketeer Masqood Anwar during a match.
Defibrillator charity, Calon Hearts, has placed more than 6,000 defibrillators across Wales and around 50 across the Vale of Glamorgan but campaigners want to increase this number, particularly near sporting facilities.
Youth Team Coach and Safeguarding Officer at Cadoxton Barry Football Club, Matthew Warner, who is involved in the campaign, said: “I am a firm believer that lifesaving defibrillators should be much more accessible to the public – especially in locations where sport and physical play takes place.
“We are hearing more and more of younger people, including children having cardiac arrests and dying these days than we have in the past, even though we are trying to create a healthier society.”
Secretary of Dinas Powys Cricket Club, Simon Hiscocks, added: “The installation of an accessible defibrillator at, or within a couple of minutes at most, of all sports venues should be a starting point for this campaign.
“It should not be a responsibility to be placed on individual clubs or organisations where sites are multi-use.”
Since the meeting MP Alun Cairns has written to Vale of Glamorgan Council hoping to encourage them to back the campaign, which also involves Calon Hearts.
Mr Cairns said: “The aim of the meeting was to bring together sporting representatives to see the potential challenges we may encounter in this campaign and to create a plan.
“Obstacles such as funding, and management of the defibs was discussed, but this positive engagement with the sporting community was the first step in taking this important campaign forward.
“I want to thank those who attended and encourage any others who want to be a part of this to contact me.
“I have since written to the Local Authority to enquire about how we can progress and to request that they work with us by playing an active role in support of the campaign. Ultimately, widespread accessibility is the most important issue at hand, and this will be the central theme of our campaign.
“That’s why we hope that the Vale Council can play a key part in ensuring that this lifesaving equipment reaches venues across all of our community.”
Vale of Glamorgan Council have been contacted for comment.
Anyone wishing to get involved in the campaign can e-mail Alun Cairns MP on [email protected]