accessibility & help

British Red Cross launches campaign for runners to learn vital first aid skills

3 August 2016

  • British Red Cross launches #UpYourGame campaign to encourage runners to learn life saving first aid skills
  • New research reveals runners would want to help others in a first aid emergency but would not have  the confidence to do so
  • 90% of runners surveyed said they would like to learn first aid or improve their first aid knowledge

With an estimated 10.5 million runners in the UK, the charity’s #UpYourGame campaign hopes to encourage runners, clubs and coaches to learn the essential skills needed to act in an emergency. 

British Red Cross  research revealed today shows that 84% of runners think sports people have a responsibility to look after each other, yet over half (58%) would not have the confidence to help their running partners in a first aid emergency.

The research revealed a significant gap between runners who have learnt first aid and those who haven’t. Of those who had learnt first aid, 59% reported that they would feel confident and willing to help in a first aid emergency, yet this figure dropped to only 18% when runners had not learnt first aid.

While cardiac arrest associated with running is rare, 4% of runners surveyed said they had witnessed at close hand someone who had collapsed and stopped breathing while running. Despite this, over half (54%) said they would not have the confidence to help someone in this situation.  

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid education at The British Red Cross said:

“Nothing should stand in the way of someone pursuing their much-loved sporting activity. But injuries and accidents do happen from time to time.

“We want to enable people to feel confident and willing to help anyone when faced with a first aid emergency. Learning first aid helps to increase confidence levels and we believe it’s a life skill everyone should have.  

“The benefits of first aid are well recognised and our new #UpYourGame campaign hopes to encourage an active British public to incorporate first aid learning into their sporting routine.”

The British Red Cross is calling on runners to watch and share the #UpYourGame video and visit for free first aid advice for runners.


Notes to editors

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them recover and move on with their lives.

This survey was conducted by Lightspeed GMI in July 2016. Approximately 300 adults aged 18-65 who run, cycle or play football at least once a week (912 in total) were surveyed.

Related Tags: