DEFIBRILLATORS for up to 30,000 athletes will be rolled out across sporting grounds after a $252,000 allocation. Blacktown will be the first council to have defibrillators at all its sports grounds.
During a cardiac arrest, defibrillators work by applying high voltage (between 200 to 1000 volts) to send an electric current through the heart to shock it into beating normally again. Elite young athletes are most vulnerable to cardiac arrests. The Heart Foundation said every passing minute without intervention reduced the rate of survival by 10 per cent. The defibrillators are expected to be rolled out by September.
Brothers Angus, Rowen and Flynn McKinder are some of the young players who will benefit from a defibrillator. Blacktown Cricket Association president Stuart McKinder, whose children play for Doonside Cricket Club, said he had seen two players die on the pitch.
“We’ve had two people — older blokes — die on the fields within Blacktown over the past 20 years that I know of and who knows? It might have turned out differently if there was a defibrillator.
“If it saves one life then it pays for itself.”
Anthony Lagrazia, whose 10-year-old son Gian plays or Blacktown City FC, said it offered parents peace of mind at games.
“I think this is a great idea,” he said. “The more lives we save with something so simple, the better.”
Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali said it was a top priority to have the latest defibrillator technologies if emergencies struck.
Mayor Stephen Bali, Greenway MP Michelle Rowland and youngsters with one of the 101 defibrillators to be rolled out by September.
“We couldn’t have it at every second park because I’d be devastated if someone needed it at a field that didn’t have it,” he said.
“We have more older players participating and we’re a sporting city so it’s vital to have these defibrillators installed.
“From Stanhope Gardens to Doonside to Marsden Park and all the 49 suburbs that make up Blacktown Council, every park deserves one.”
Blacktown and Districts Soccer Football Association donated $27,500 to the equipment and Greenway federal Labor MP Michelle Rowland contributed $20,000 to the rollout. Cricket NSW, AFL, Penrith and District Junior Rugby League Association, Parramatta and District Junior Rugby League Association, Oztag and Blacktown City Football Club also contributed. The council-owned fields accommodate 120 sporting clubs across 20 sports codes.
Soccer remains the most popular sport for locals with 9997 registered members. Netball is second with 3669 players and rugby league has 3232.