Meet the HOF team
What is Heartbeat of Football and why it’s needed?
Heartbeat of Football (HOF) is a not-for-profit organisation established in early 2016 by Andy Paschalidis. It aims to promote healthy hearts in sport via player education, the minimisation of health risks and the installation of defibrillators on all sporting fields around the country.
Initially, the focus will be on football codes. In Australia, it is believed there have been 10 cases of heart-related deaths related to amateur football in the past two years.
There is a tendency to focus on health issues only after a tragedy. Heartbeat of Football would like to change this by proactively preparing as many people as possible for such an event as ever-increasing members of community see the benefits of, and enjoy taking part in, amateur sport.
What is the purpose of HOF?
Heartbeat of Football helps men/women play their chosen sport for as long as possible … safely.
The HOF team engages with governments, the health sector and wider community in order to provide sportspeople with the best in heart-health education and awareness, a consistent approach to sport-related health care, the necessary equipment to assist in preventing and minimising health risks (such as the installation of defibrillators at sporting venues), and the peace of mind so they may safely participate in, and enjoy, their sport.
Why is HOF necessary?
- To educate the growing number of mature age people in sport. In order to maintain a moderate level of fitness, as well as a work/life balance, increasing numbers of mature age people are taking part in amateur sport, whether it be organised or social. Record numbers are involved in team sports, greater numbers are taking up cycling, and fun runs are becoming so popular that organisers are having to restrict entry numbers at certain events. Mature-age participants must be educated on the potential health risks of their activity.
- To help reduce pressure on the Australian health system. Along with the health profession, HOF is very supportive of amateur sport, as there are many health benefits to participants. Fitter and healthier adults don’t need to lean on the health system as often as their counterparts and have fewer chronic illnesses.
- To help prevent health incidences. Mature age sports participation brings an increased level of health-related risks from the usual aches and pains to the more critical, and now more regularly, incidents such as heart attacks. Aside from education, HOF is campaigning for defibrillators on all sporting fields in the hope that player lives may be saved.