In the run up to Heart Month 2020, Hampshire Cricket Foundation [the aligned charity to Hampshire Cricket and the Ageas Bowl] came together with CRY to deliver free cardiac screening sessions for members of the local community at the Ageas Bowl.
A team of CRY’s cardiac experts visited the home of Hampshire Cricket on January 25 and 26 to screen around 100 local, young people on both days, including Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes (aged 31). The screenings, which were funded by the Hampshire Cricket Foundation, are part of its inspiring new initiative ‘Changing Lives. Saving Lives’ which aims to deliver a healthier future for people across the county.
Stuart Robertson, Hampshire Cricket Foundation CEO, said: “We are delighted to support CRY’s cardiac screening programme and I would like to thank the many generous donors to the Hampshire Cricket Foundation, especially those from our annual Ladies Lashes Lunch that have enabled us to do this.”
One in every 300 young people tested through CRY’s pioneering screening programme – overseen by Professor Sanjay Sharma, CRY’s Consultant Cardiologist and one of the world’s leading experts in sports cardiology and inherited conditions – will be identified as having a potentially life-threatening condition.
CRY’s Chief Executive Dr Steven Cox said: “It is a great honour to be associated with the new ‘Changing Lives. Saving Lives’ initiative spearheaded by Hampshire Cricket Foundation.
The campaign shares the same ethos as CRY and we were very pleased to bring our team of experts to the Ageas Bowl, along with long-standing supporter and campaigner Graham Hunter, who has helped raise over £67,000 for CRY’s screening programme, to date, in memory of his beloved daughter, Claire.”
Every week in the UK, around 12 young people under the age of 35 die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80% of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms. However, in Italy, where screening is mandatory for all young people engaged in organised sport, the incidence of young sudden cardiac death has been reduced by a staggering 89%.
Dr Cox adds; “We would like to thank Graham Hunter and his family and everyone at Hampshire Cricket Foundation for funding these two days of screening. We are impressed by everything they are doing to raise awareness of young sudden cardiac death, whilst also for reaching out to young members of their local community.”
CRY has a positive (and growing) heritage of working with the world of cricket to promote awareness of young sudden cardiac death, as well as supporting fundraising for screening both in the community and at grass roots level of the sport. Cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham is an Honorary Patron of CRY; Kent Cricket’s Calum Haggett and Ivan Thomas (who both have a personal connection to CRY and its aims) are official Ambassadors of the charity; and England’s current captain, Joe Root, is also proud to be one of CRY’s sporting Patrons.
“I am honoured to have become a CRY Patron,” Joe says, “as I have been aware of CRY since my friend, Alex Reid, died suddenly of a cardiac arrest in June 2012, when she was only 16. I have supported several fundraising events organised in memory of Alex and want to do whatever I can to help raise awareness of the crucial work CRY do.”
CRY also works closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to achieve a shared goal of seeing cardiac screening rolled out to professional players in all County teams.
The Hampshire Cricket Foundation, previously known as Hampshire Cricket in the Community, relaunched in December 2019 with the aim of raising funds to support four key objectives: