Nine gifts of life this Christmas

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CHRISTMAS is coming early for nine local sporting clubs - thanks to a life-saving campaign kick-started by The Star.

Nine defibrillators - machines that can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm after cardiac arrest - are being distributed following our “Safety on the Sidelines” campaign.

The programme was set up after the tragic death of Dronfield referee Roger Evans in March.

More than £10,000 has been raised locally, and the nine defibrillators are the first ‘bulk award’ to be made under the partnership between The Star, the British Heart Foundation, Sheffield & Hallamshire Football Association (SHFA) and Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).

They will be installed at Stocksbridge Park Steels, Dinnington Town FC, Parkgate FC, Balby Carr Sports College, Rossington Sports College, Rotherham Council’s Herringthorpe Playing Fields, Barnsley Rugby Union Club, Bessecarr Juniors, Cantley Park, and Aurora Sports Centre, Brinsworth.

SHFA volunteers at these clubs will be trained by YAS on how to use the equipment. The campaign has had the full backing of Evans’ family.

His widow, Sue, said, “It’s fantastic that nine clubs will have access to a defibrillator.

“Our lives have been devastated by the loss of Roger but we are hugely grateful to the people and organisations that have supported the appeal.

“We take comfort from knowing that Roger’s legacy includes making such a positive difference to local sport and that this legacy will continue as these clubs become safer places to play.”

A ceremony to welcome the new equipment is being held today at Handsworth Junior Sporting Club.

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