accessibility & help

Gavin's story: my first aid mission

30 July 2009

First aid football club

After hearing of a horrific sporting injury, Red Cross trainer Gavin Churchill resolved to set up a first aid course designed specifically for sportsmen and women.

Sports-mad Gavin, himself the manager of a reserve football team, was stirred to action when he heard what had happened at a local football match. He recalled: “One player collided with the dugout and was knocked unconscious and fractured his skull. And, on this occasion, no-one there knew what to do.”

Thankfully, the footballer made a full recovery. But, as Gavin pointed out: “It brought to light the fact that more people organising and taking part in team sports need first aid skills.”

Bright idea

So Gavin came up with the idea of offering the Red Cross’ emergency life support course to local sports groups. And his brainwave has been a runaway success, with courses now available throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

He said: “We teach resuscitation, the recovery position, treating blood loss, strains and sprains, and fractures – all the likely scenarios related to sporting injuries. From our point of view, it’s really important that these people are trained in first aid.”

The training has so far been provided to several sports clubs, including Honiton Football Club and Winscombe Cricket Club.

Tailored to needs

First aid football club - Tom

Ian Fraser, head coach at Winscombe Cricket Club, said: “In common with many other clubs, we found it a challenge to get all our coaches put through first aid courses run by the local cricket board.

“Booking with the Red Cross was extremely easy – and Gavin’s lively, relevant course was cricket-focused and absolutely tailored to our needs.

“We now have two or three people at most games who could give first aid if required, and that gives me enormous peace of mind. I can’t recommend the Red Cross enough!”

Scott Barribal, club secretary of Honiton Town Youth Football Club, was also impressed. He said: “The course was absolutely brilliant. I’ve already been asked to organise another one for those who couldn’t attend.”

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