CRY has always received incredible support in Wales. Local families, media and politicians have helped us spread awareness and complete vital screenings to test the hearts of young people all around the country.
October 27th and 28th was a milestone weekend for CRY in Wales, with 200 young people being screened at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
The event marked the 49th and 50th screening sessions held in Wales, and took the total for young people screened there to 4,500. It was made possible thanks to a generous donation of £14,000 from Councillor Doug Williams, who raised funds during his year spent as Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
“I had an amazing year as first citizen of our County Borough,” Cllr Williams said before the event, “and was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people, who helped make our Mayor’s Charity Appeal such a resounding success. The Cardiac Risk in the Young charity is a subject close to my heart and I am delighted to see that our donation is being put to such good use.”
Beyond the importance of holding these screenings to test hundreds of young people, a high-profile event like this is also valuable from an awareness standpoint. We can continue to bring attention to the issue of young sudden cardiac death in the area, while the attendance of athletes, including players from the Welsh Women’s rugby team over the weekend, helps even more.
CRY Chief Executive Dr Steve Cox spoke about CRY’s ambition for the near future: “CRY’s latest visit to South Wales not only marks an exciting milestone in terms of the numbers of young people we have screened to date, but it also highlights an important opportunity to establish a more permanent presence in Wales and offering regular screenings for students, young athletes and the wider community.”
Daniel Mason has been a long time supporter of CRY after tragically losing his brother, Dean, due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Now, as a CRY Representative in Wales, Daniel has seen encouraging developments in the area.
“Having been involved with CRY for a number of years it has been great to witness the growing involvement they are having within Wales,” Daniel said after the event. “Being able to utilise the facilities in an institute such as Cardiff Met, and given its location, it is a great advantage to the charity. Hopefully this can be a long running relationship and I’m sure given the support and input Cardiff Met and their staff have given so far it will go from strength to strength. The numbers are testament to CRY’s commitment to screen as many people as possible, and I am sure there will be many more major landmarks achieved in the future.”
To ensure that CRY’s screening programme continues to grow, establishing a national centre in Wales at Cardiff Met is one of our key aims moving forward.
CRY has the support of Dr Mike Stembridge, a Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology, to help make this happen. “At Cardiff Met, we’re committed to encouraging the safe participation in sport and physical activity for everyone,” Dr Stembridge said, “ranging from our elite athletes to the local community clubs.”
“We’re excited to be working with CRY to establish a Centre for Cardiac Screening in Wales, with the aim of reducing the frequency of sudden cardiac death in young people.”