Upton ARLFC are now real life-savers, thanks to a community grant from Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).
The Quarry Lane club has invested the money in a defibrillator and training for 14 people in how to use it, so they can offer immediate first aid should a player or spectator suffer a heart attack.
Sudden cardiac arrests during competitive sport have made national headlines in recent years, perhaps most famously involving footballer Fabrice Muamba during two years during an FA Cup match. He survived thanks to immediate medical assistance.
Although such a serious incident has thankfully never occurred at Upton Rugby Club staff and volunteers will on hand to help if the worst happens.
The club’s training was organised by charity Heartbeat of Sport, which aims to reduce the number of sudden cardiac arrests at sporting events. As part of this, Heartbeat of Sport are campaigning for all sports clubs to be equipped with defibrillators.
Elaine Dawson, the club’s Child Welfare Officer, said: “We have trained the coaching staff, bar staff and members of the committee in how to use the equipment.
“We have seven teams at Upton, from under eights through to the open age team, and we’re extremely grateful for the community grant from WDH so we can fund such an important piece of equipment – but hopefully we will never have to use it.”
Jane Gwilliam, WDH’s Tenant Involvement Officer, presented the cheque to the club.
Jane said: “Upton is one of the busiest clubs in our local community, especially with the number of young people playing here each week.
“We’re delighted to be able to help them purchase such valuable equipment and training so they can safeguard their players and spectators.”