Local clubs and Council better equipped to save lives

Woolgoolga District Netball Association coaching convenor Louise Maybury, club president Sandra Thorpe, and Club Secretary Mick Thorpe display the club’s new defibrillator. Photo: Emma Darbin.


PLAYING sport in the Coffs Harbour region has just been made a little safer, with more than $6,000 allocated to Coffs Harbour City Council and three local sporting clubs to purchase defibrillators.

The successful recipients of the defibrillators are Coffs Harbour City Council (for use by baseball and other sports), Westside Tennis Club, Woolgoolga District Netball Association, and Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club.

The new life-saving equipment has been secured through the NSW Government’s Local Sport Defibrillator Program.

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Woolgoolga District Netball Association club secretary Mick Thorpe said the defibrillator was a fantastic addition to the club.

The club recently received a grant of $1,169, half of the funds needed for the defibrillator purchase with the rest of the funding to come from the club.

“We’d been encouraged to apply to get one several times,” Mick said.

“I think everyone’s been given a bit of a wake up call on the supplies of medical equipment after the COVID requirements, and we thought that it was timely for us to look into it.

“The main reason was because we have parents and grandparents here watching their kids play, but also our busiest comp of the year is a Mixed Twilight with varying ages, and we are starting Walking Netball for seniors in April.”

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said it was vital these organisations were equipped to respond to life-threatening situations.

“Whether it’s on the footy field or on the beach, the great outdoors is a key part of the Coffs Coast lifestyle,” Mr Singh said.

“I’m pleased more and more local organisations can have access to a defibrillator in the event of a cardiac arrest.”

The NSW Government’s Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program assists councils, sports and recreation clubs across the State to purchase and maintain Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee encouraged sports and recreation clubs and councils to take advantage of the life-saving program.

“In NSW, up to 7,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year,” Mr Lee said.

“Medical experts say the first eight minutes following a cardiac arrest are critical and early access to CPR and a defibrillator is essential to increasing a patient’s likelihood of survival.

“This is a life-saving program and I encourage all sporting organisations and councils to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Grants are available under the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program with the current round open until 12 April 2021.

For further information on the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program visit https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/defibrillator.



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