Footballers and fans across North Riding urged to spend 15 minutes learning how to save a life
Thousands of football players, coaches, referees, parents and supporters across the North Riding area of Yorkshire are being urged to learn CPR with a free innovative app which teaches the vital skill in just 15 minutes.
The ambitious plan has been launched by North Riding FA, whose CEO Steven Wade said he hoped enough people to “fill Middlesbrough FC’s stadium” would learn the lifesaving skill using the British Heart Foundation's tool RevivR.
Interest in learning CPR spiked following the high profile cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen on the pitch at the Euros in 2021, which led to a third of fans saying they investigated CPR training and nine in ten were keen to learn it, according to a BHF survey.*
The survey also revealed that 69% of fans were more likely to learn CPR if their club sign-posted it.
Steven said Christian Eriksen’s collapse was one of the inspirations for rolling RevivR out across the local footballing community, including all clubs and teams in the North Riding FA area. As well as players, the scheme will target everyone associated with a club, from coaches through to parents.
There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, but the survival rate is less than one in ten. The early and effective use of CPR and a defibrillator can more than double the chances of survival in some cases.
RevivR teaches you how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps of defibrillator use, giving anyone the confidence to step in and save a life in the event of the ultimate medical emergency.
“The BHF approached us about their app at the same time as we were thinking about our new health and wellbeing strategy, so the timing was perfect,” said Steven.
“There was a lot of publicity around Christian Eriksen during the Euros and we felt this was the perfect opportunity to use football to promote the importance of learning this skill, giving people the basic knowledge and confidence to know what to do should an emergency arise.”
Steven said there were about 250 clubs and 1,300 teams across the North Riding FA area, with the ages of players ranging from children of six up to people playing walking football in their 70s. By adding in coaches, referees, volunteers, parents and other supporters, he believed they had the potential to reach enough people to fill Middlesbrough’s stadium.
The information will be cascaded down through newsletters, roadshows, social media and other methods.
“I’ve tried RevivR myself already and it’s excellent, I was really impressed with it,” added Steven. “It was really easy to follow and I told my staff afterwards that it was the best 15 minutes I had spent all week.
“And I think that’s the key to it – it’s not just easy, it’s quick. So quick in fact, you could learn how to save a life in the half time period of a football match!”
BHF Fundraising Manager for North Yorkshire Leya Baksh said: “Well done to North Riding FA for taking this initiative, it’s brilliant to hear they are planning to reach so many people with our innovative RevivR tool.
“CPR transcends football rivalries and truly is a gamechanger - imagine if every football fan in the UK learned CPR via our free online app RevivR, that would be millions more people with the skills and confidence to save a life.”