Charter

Heartbeat of Football Charter

Background:
• In order to maintain a decent level of fitness, as well as provide some relief from the pressures and stresses of maintaining a work/life balance, increasing numbers of mature age members of society are taking part in amateur sport, whether it be organised or in a more individual pursuit.
• The Health Profession is extremely supportive of this increased level of participation in amateur sport and can see many benefits including reducing the levels of dependency on the health system, both on a local and national level.
• It is clear that the participation in many types of sporting activities amongst mature age members of society continues to grow, with record numbers of adults taking part in all manner of team sports, greater numbers of adults taking up cycling as well as the very popular participation, of all ages, in fun runs requiring organisers to restrict entries at certain events.
• Of course, this increase in mature age sports participation brings an increased level of health-related risk from the usual aches and pains to the more critical, and now more regularly, incidents such as heart attacks.
• For example, in Australia it is believed that there have been 10 cases of heart-related deaths related to amateur football in the past 2 years with the latest on a Sunday morning this January.
• There is a tendency for there to be a focus on such health issues only after a tragedy. Heartbeat of Football would like to change this by proactively preparing as many as possible for such an event as ever increasing members of community see the benefits of, and enjoy taking part in, amateur sport.

Purpose:

• Educate – Elevate the understanding of the potential health risks around the participation in mature age physical activity such as sport;
• Prevent – Work with amateur sporting organisations to enable them to acquire, and effectively operate, equipment that can assist avoid life-threatening health incidents and also adopt participation policies that minimise the potential for health related risks;
• Financially Assist – Provide families in dire financial need, that have been affected by sport related deaths or disabilities, with a level of financial assistance and other support.
Objectives:

Heartbeat of Football will liaise with a wide range of institutions to learn, educate and share the important lessons associated with the prevention of health-related incidents.

These institutions include, but are not restricted to:

• Government (all levels)
• Health Profession
• Sporting Associations (all levels)
• Clubs
• Individuals
• Corporate Institutions
• Foundations
• Other NFP/NGOs including other Fund-Raising organisations
• Suppliers of Equipment
• Media

Heartbeat of Football will endeavour to be the ‘glue’ between all these entities and more, to ensure a higher level of commitment, engagement and education that can help provide the necessary equipment, where required, as well as a standard and best practice approach to health management for those involved in mature age amateur sport.

Scope:

The initial focus will be on the 4 football codes, soccer, rugby league, rugby union & AFL, but ultimately the goal would be to broaden the scope to cover all mature aged sport.

How:

Heartbeat of Football will elevate the profile of such health-related issues within the mature age sporting community by:

• Formalising regular dialogue with the parties as listed above so that the issue of middle-age amateur sport participation becomes a normal part of the communities landscape;
• Lifting the profile in the sporting media of mature age sport and health related issues;
• Lobbying Sporting Associations to increase the level of awareness and the introduction of health standards for all participants;
• Liaising with providers to ensure standard training and equipment can be provided across the country at a reasonable cost;
• Ensure that prevention practices and equipment are kept up to date;
• Fund Raising.

How will Heartbeat of Football succeed?

Heartbeat of Football would have achieved its objectives when participation in mature aged sport has grown but there are no health related deaths or severe illnesses associated with those activities.