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Old Halesonians receive defibrillator

19 September 2012

  • Old Halesonians to train coaches in use of new equipment
  • Club to help drive awareness of cardiac death after tragic loss of Luke Chapman

John Freestone, Steve Ward and Alan Chapman of the Hearts Association with John Wragg and Paul Dando of Old Halesonians along with Luke Chapman's former Under 16 teammates

Photo: RFU Archive

Old Halesonians have taken delivery of a defibrillator which was presented by the grandfather of Luke Chapman, a talented 15-year-old from the club, who died while playing for Haybridge High School in March.

The defibrillator was donated by The Hearts of England Association and was presented to Old Halesonians by Alan Chapman, a member of the organisation.

The defibrillator will be kept at Old Halesonians’ Wassell Grove headquarters at Hagley and the club’s coaches and first-aiders will be trained to use the new equipment.

“After the tragic loss of Luke we all became aware of the need for more research into young sudden cardiac death,” said John Wragg, chairman of Old Halesonians’ Mini & Juniors section.

The club’s Mini & Juniors section has also donated £500 to the Luke Chapman Fund from recent fund-raising events.

Further fund-raising is planned with Haybridge High School staging an inaugural Luke Chapman Memorial Under 16s tournament on September 28 (12.30pm start) involving seven other local schools.

Old Halesonians will also be hosting an annual Under  16s tournament at Wassell Grove next March.

So far, fund-raising for the Luke Chapman Memorial Fund has raised around £10,000. The money will be divided between local charitable causes and Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

CRY was founded in 1995 to raise awareness of the conditions that can cause young sudden cardiac death. CRY continues to work with expert cardiologists to help prevent the incidence of young cardiac death, primarily through its pioneering screening programme. CRY works with leading bodies such as the RFU, FA and LTA to ensure that screening is widely accessible to high endurance sportspeople and, over the past 5 years, has screened more than 1,000 elite athletes

CRY has many high profile Patrons from the world sport, including Sir Ian Botham, Sir Steve Redgrave, Gregor Townsend, Sir Clive Woodward, Nick Easter, John Inverdale and Robert Jones MBE – as well as some more recent Olympians, Lawrence Okoye and rowers Andy Triggs-Hodge and Matt Wells.

In the surrounding area, The Hearts of England Association have also donated defibrillators to Halesowen Cycle and Athletics Club and Moseley RFC.

The Association is a West Midland’s Charity run by a small team of volunteers and their supporters raising money to support specific projects identified by the cardiology departments of our local hospitals. Over the past 12 years they have donated £220,000 for the benefit of cardiac  patients, nursing and medical staff.


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