Today, on Restart a Heart Day (Saturday 16th of October 2021) the Football Association of Wales is delighted to announce its unique FAW Academy education programme, thanks to backing from ‘Save a Life Cymru’ (SaLC).
Save a Life Cymru is a partnership between a wide range of organisations from the public, charity and third sectors who offer CPR and defibrillation support and advice. Many of these organisations and charities also run CPR and defibrillation training course.
You can find more here: https://gov.wales/save-a-life-cymru
With the support of a grant awarded to the FAW from Save a Life Cymru for 2021-2022, the FAW has been working to effectively implement an education programme to raise awareness on how to identify and manage a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), with particular focus on education across 12–16-year-olds.
In support of SaLC’s important message of encouraging everybody in Wales to learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator, the FAW will deliver a ‘Safe a Life’ workshop to all FAW Academy clubs to further develop confidence in young people when reacting to a trauma incident.
The ‘Save a Life’ workshop consists of an engaging presentation on SCA and the importance of early recognition, defibrillator training and practical life support activities including CPR, utilising mannequins.
The FAW hopes that its work with SaLC will improve the community response to SCA and help reduce fatalities resulting from this trauma.
It is detailed that around 80% of community cardiac arrests in Wales occur in peoples’ homes and can happen to anyone at any time. SaLC was established to increase the awareness of the importance of learning CPR and using a defibrillator to increase the number of people who survive a cardiac arrest in the community.
Through the ‘Save a Life’ workshops the FAW are supporting SaLC’s ambition to create cultural change across Wales and ensure that everyone understands the urgent need to help anyone experiencing a cardiac arrest, as well as having the skills and confidence to start CPR and defibrillation.
Professor Len Nokes, Chair of Save Life Cymru said: “As pitch Doctor with the Cymru men and women’s national teams and as Club Doctor with Cardiff City FC I am very much aware of the importance performing CPR can have in saving a life on and off the football pitch. Save a Life Cymru are delighted to be working with the FAW to educate a new generation of football players in essential life-saving CPR and defibrillation skills.
“We know that every year in Wales, over 6,000 will have an out of hospital cardiac arrest and currently our survival rate is less than 1 in 20. Anyone, at any age and at any time can suffer a cardiac arrest and the best thing you can do to in this situation is to have a go at performing life-saving CPR. It is a quick and easy skill to learn at any age, and you can start by visiting our training video at, gov.wales/save-a-life-cymru.”
Andrew Lindley, FAW Save a Life Workshop lead said: “I am incredibly passionate about ensuring that the playing environment is safe, along with our players, and the support we have received from SaLC has been invaluable in delivering the Save a Life workshops to FAW Academy clubs.
“With a background in medicine and as a serving nurse in the NHS, I also want to ensure that as medical staff at the FAW we are always the best we can be. Although we are a relatively small National Association, we know it’s achievable to be the safest.”
Improving heart health and awareness across Wales is a key initiative of the FAW, which saw the association partner with Calon Hearts in 2018, with the long-term aim to deliver lifesaving defibrillators, equipment and training to all football clubs in Wales. This summer, the FAW joined Calon Hearts to release a CPR Training video delivered by Cymru Manager Robert Page and Cymru players Jonny Williams & Will Vaulks.