Ahead of the new winter season, Socceroo striker Tim Cahill has a message for the thousands of amateur footballers around the country. Have fun, but play it safe by getting a medical check.
The Socceroos legend is a Global Ambassador for Heartbeat of Football, a charity founded by football broadcaster Andrew Paschalidis which aims to promote healthy hearts via player education and minimising health risks.
And the Socceroos' message ahead of the 2017 campaign is to make sure amatuer footballers around Australia are medically fit before the new season kicks off.
“With football seasons starting all over Australia, I want to encourage all players, young and old, to go and have a check-up with their GPs,” Cahill said.
“Even if you haven’t had any health issues before, it’s definitely best to be sure.”
Last year Cahill helped unveil the ZAPSTAND - a public defibrillator that was installed at Mackey Park, the home of his childhood club Marrickville Devils, and the Socceroo stressed the importance of these live saving devices.
“In a perfect world, it would be great if every sports club and ground in Australia had access to a defibrillator,” he said.
“I am honoured to be part of this push for change through Heartbeat of Football. Together we can and will make a difference.”
In the last three years, the incident of heart-attack deaths in football has risen with 15 players and officials dying in NSW alone.
Heart Of Football hopes to address the worrying trend of cardiac related incidents on the sporting field through various key initiatives, including:
- Heart health awareness and education
- Heartbeat Medical Tents at fields to assist in testing players, blood pressure, CPR training as well understanding how to use defibrillators
- Extensive public and media messaging including a formal partnership with Football NSW
- Increasing the rollout of defibrillators to sporting grounds in Australia via local councils, sporting organisations, State and Federal Governments
Paschalidis witnessed his Forest Rangers team-mate Matt Richardson die from a heart attack in 2014 and echoed Cahill’s message regarding the importance of being vigilant about your health.
“Heartbeat of Football wants players to have fun and play it safe by ensuring they are medically fit prior to the season. Now is the time to do that,” he said.
Just over a month ago, two footballer’s lives were saved thanks to a defibrillator being on hand, including an Under-18 player from Hakoah FC and an over 35’s player from St Ives FC.
Last year Umina amateur footballer Nathan Mark also survived a cardiac arrest after the quick thinking of his teammates and opposition players helped save his life after they used a defibrillator.
And Mark also spoke of the importance of having a medical check-up.
“I would urge people out there even if you are feeling healthy and all the rest of it just to get yourself checked,” he said. “You should go to the doctor see how you are going, because I had no idea I had a 90% blockage and I ended up in hospital, and I had no indication anything was wrong.”
Heartbeat of Football has two important fundraising events coming up, including a six a side tournament on April 24, in Sydney and one year anniversary Gala Dinner - June 2, Sydney.
For more information please contact: Andrew Paschalidis on 0412-184048 or firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the website below for more details.
Photo by Loopii