We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

05 Oct 2021 152

Organisations unite to call for compulsory sudden cardiac arrest training to all involved in sport

Leading organisations have come together to call for compulsory sudden cardiac arrest training for all involved in the delivery of sport, during SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) Awareness Week.

The campaign is spearheaded by UK Coaching, Resuscitation Council UK and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) – a charity set up after the tragic loss of Joe Humphries, who died while out jogging with his friend nine years ago today (4 October).

Every week in the UK twelve people under the age of 35 experience a sudden cardiac arrest and, of those who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of hospital, only one in ten survive. If effective action is taken within the first minute, it can treble chances of survival.

The organisations, alongside influential figures which include one of Britain’s greatest Paralympic athletes, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former England rugby captain and Patron of JHMT, Martin Johnson, are urging everybody who actively delivers sport to undertake sudden cardiac arrest training.

UK Coaching offers a free eLearning course which provides the knowledge and confidence to respond quickly and appropriately in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. The toolkit, funded by Sport England, has been created by UK Coaching in collaboration with Resuscitation Council UK, St John Ambulance and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust. 

Martin Johnson said:

It is so important that everybody who leads or participates in sport knows what to do in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrests affect around 60,000 people outside of hospital in the UK every year and sadly only 1 in 10 survive. However, it’s no use people having the skills and knowledge to act if there isn’t a defibrillator nearby. Immediate access to an AED along with CPR gives that person the best possible chance of survival. AEDs need to be as commonplace as fire extinguishers."

The organisations have also written an open letter to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, to urge her to mandate sudden cardiac arrest training, as well as ensuring every sporting venue has a defibrillator on site.

UK Coaching's Chief Executive, Mark Gannon, added:

There have been numerous high-profile instances of sudden cardiac arrest this year and it’s left many questioning if they would know what to do, where the nearest defib is, and most importantly the need to give everyone, from coaches to players, facility staff, parents and spectators, the knowledge and confidence to act fast – because every second really does count. It shouldn’t be down to luck - every sporting venue must have an AED on site and sports should be making the course mandatory.

"I hope we can start a dialogue with Government because every person trained increases the chance of immediate action when someone has a cardiac arrest and the person's life being saved. All it takes is 30 minutes. Where we can start to make real strides is by working with National Governing Bodies and sporting organisations to implement the training internally, but our ultimate goal is to make this law."


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Free Online Course

Learn to be quick, be smart and restart a heart with our life-saving eLearning course that will enable you to act swiftly and effectively in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

Learn how to save a life