NZ Football, with the support of ACC SportSmart, have recently launched the Smart Start – AEDs in Clubs Programme which includes comprehensive resources, educational and policy support.
“New Zealand Football has a vision for all football clubs throughout NZ to have an AED,” said Megan Crockett, the NZ Football National Injury Prevention Manager. “We are excited to announce our Smart Start – AEDs in Clubs Programme which is the first step of building safer communities who are prepared to deal with sudden cardiac arrest both with AEDs and the education to take action.”
Football is the largest participation sport in New Zealand and as a result cardiac arrests from the elite to the participant athletes are a significant threat.
Dr Mark Fulcher, the Medical Director at New Zealand Football, believes the Smart Start – AEDs in Clubs Programme is a great step towards building safer communities and encouraged all football clubs to make the investment.
“It is vital that every football club in New Zealand has a defibrillator and an action plan and it is up to football clubs to make this a priority,” said Dr Fulcher. “We know that AEDs save lives, we have seen that both here and overseas and every football club can prevent deaths in their club by making this subsidised and much-needed investment.”
Earlier this year Geoff Brogan suddenly collapsed when he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Western Springs Football Club in Auckland.
“There was a chance for a ball to come in and I starting running and that is when the light changed, my legs wouldn’t work and I felt myself falling,” he said remembering the moment.
One of his mates added: “I thought he is gone this is the last time that I am going to see Geoff. Boom shock and then we got back that heartbeat.”
Brogan added: “It is vital to have an AED at every sports club. It saves lives. Without it I wouldn’t be here.”
The objective is to support all New Zealand Football Clubs and Associations in NZ to have an AED unit and programme accessible to their club members, players and spectators, with the education and support to enable them to react should an event a rise.
The launch sees 60 fully funded Smart Start AED units to football clubs per year for 2016, 2017 and 2018. NZ Football Quality Club Mark (QCM) Clubs that meet and hold the current revised QCM standards, plus our National League Clubs qualify to receive a fully funded Smart Start AED Unit and Programme in 2016.
All other NZ Football affiliated clubs throughout New Zealand that currently do not meet the revised QCM criteria are able to purchase a discounted and subsidised AED unit through this initiative and programme.
New Zealand Football will provide all other football clubs the ability to access the discounted and subsidised Smart Start AED programme and units, with the support of FIFA’s AED supplier ZOLL International.
The Smart Start – AEDs in Clubs Programme is one of a number of initiatives led by the NZ Football Injury Prevention team.
For more information on The Smart Start programme visit here