Leighton United holds CPR session to teach youngsters life-saving skills

'These incidents really helped highlight the importance of knowing what to do in an emergency situation'

By Joanna Gravett
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 4:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 3:11 pm

Leighton United held a CPR session on Sunday to teach youngsters skills that could one day save someone's life.

The Under 11s team and their parents took part in an interactive, hour-long class on October 31, helping them to understand and apply basic CPR techniques.

Parents were also given the opportunity to practise using a defibrillator, while the children were keen to ask questions during a lively Q&A session.

Leighton United Under 11s CPR session. Photo: Leighton United.

Mark Longman, Leighton United Under 11s manager, said: "The importance of first aid in football was highlighted back in 2012 when Fabrice Muamba collapsed during a live televised game between Bolton and Tottenham. Thankfully he recovered despite his heart having stopped for 78 minutes.

"Fast forward to this summer’s Euros and another televised game, where this time Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapsed having suffered a cardiac arrest. As with Muamba, thanks to the swift actions of those at the scene, both players survived, as did a fan who collapsed at a Newcastle v Tottenham game a couple of weeks ago.

"One of the [U11s] dads, David Springthorpe, works as a Senior Training Manager at the Royal Life Saving Society, so we said we should do something for the kids and parents at the club.

"We'd talked about running some sessions after what had happened to Eriksen, and the recent incident at Newcastle then sparked us into life."

Leighton United Under 11s CPR session. Photo: Leighton United.

Both the young players and their families really enjoyed the class and the children asked lots of questions and were able to demonstrate their understanding throughout.

Mark added: "The session was fantastic and all the kids and parents that attended were really engaged. You never know when these skills might be needed and these type of sessions should help everyone’s confidence if that situation should ever arise.

"Off the back of this session we hope to run further sessions across our other age groups in the near future."

Mark would like to say "a huge thank you" to David for giving up his time to teach the lesson, and to the club for the use of its clubhouse.

Leighton United Under 11s CPR session. Photo: Leighton United.

Reflecting on the famous players, he added: "These incidents really helped highlight the importance of knowing what to do in an emergency situation and being able to give someone in this position the best chance of survival.

"I would definitely recommend that other teams and sports clubs consider doing something similar as it can stick in the memory more than an online course may do and ultimately could save someone’s life."

Leighton United Under 11s CPR session. Photo: Leighton United.