James (23) is a current England and GB international hockey player and plays his club hockey at Surbiton. He has recently represented England at the World Cup in India in December 2018, as well as securing a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
James has a very personal reason for becoming involved with CRY, having tragically lost two friends to young sudden cardiac death. Emma Broad – James’ friend and felllow player at Surbiton Hockey Club – died in her sleep at her home in Weybridge in May 2011, just weeks after being selected to play for England. She was aged just 16 and had so symptoms or warning signs of an underlying problem with her heart. Emma’s sudden death sent shockwaves throughout her school and local commuity, as well as the wider hockey world.
Later, when James was studying at the University of Nottingham, one of his ‘Halls’ and course-mates, Nadeesha Jayawardene, died suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, too.
James says; “As I’m sure is the case with everyone who has a connection with the charity, it’s incredibly powerful, losing a young person from a cause that is so often preventable, and that stays with you for a long time. I am immensely proud to be taking on this role of Ambassador and working with CRY towards raising even more awareness, especially within the sporting and hockey community.”
To date, The Emma Broad Memorial Fund has raised over £130,000 for CRY. Many of James’ friends have contributed to this incredible total, including Ellie Tait, who took part in Run to the Beat in 2012 raising £435.50 and Chloe Wright, who raised £446.20 from her efforts with the Nottingham Uni Summer Ladies hockey tournament and “Tough Mudder”.
Chief Executive of CRY, Dr Steven Cox, added: “We’re delighted to have James on board in this official capacity and look forward to working with him both now and in the future.
“CRY wants every young person to have the opportunity to book up to have their heart tested. We really do appreciate James stepping up to help to promote the work of CRY and playing an active role in spreading the word about our ongoing commitment to saving young lives.”
Every week in the UK, around 12 young people (that is, aged 35 and under) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms – which is why CRY is so committed to the importance of specialist, cardiac screening. Indeed, CRY’s pioneering screening programme now tests around 30,000 young people (aged 14–35) across the UK every year.
And, although it won’t identify all young people at risk, in
Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised
sport, they have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death by 89%. This
is because sport – whilst it does not actually cause sudden cardiac death – can
significantly increase a young person’s risk if they have an underlying