Cheltenham Town FC back Citizen's Stop the Heartbreak campaign
WHEELS have started to turn in the ambitious plans to raise £7,000 to bring free cardiac screening for young people in Gloucestershire.
The University of Gloucestershire's Oxstalls Campus in Longlevens will host two mobile screening units on April 8 and 9 next year for people aged 14 to 35.
Cheltenham Town Football Club is the first professional sports club in the county to pile its weight behind the cause.
The Robins have vowed to back the Gloucester Citizen's Stop the Heartbreak campaign, helping to boost the profile of cardiac risk in the young.
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Cheltenham Town's media manager James Brown has received first aid training as part of his preliminary coaching badges.
He said cardiac awareness soared following Premier League Bolton player Fabrice Muamba's collapse on Tottenham's White Hart Lane pitch and has become an integral part of the Cheltenham club.
"There has been a really big push for this kind of awareness now in football," he said.
"We have defibrillators for games and at the training ground.
"There is a real movement to try and screen footballers at a young age.
"It is an absolute focus for us. There is a big push on getting defibrillators into the community but all football grounds have one now."
The club will help with raising the campaign's profile by getting the message across to fans through match-day programmes and online.
Longlevens footballer Mark Moore collapsed during a match and has now recovered.
Former Matson rugby player Dominic Cullen, 24, died from a heart attack in May 2012 just hours after playing for his club. Churchdown Parish FC player Mike Mulraney, 44, died after suffering chest pains during a game at the John Daniels Playing Field in 2005.
There is now a defibrillator at the ground.
Diane Crone, professor of exercise science at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "We are a large university and want to try and raise some of the fundraising ourselves but we need sponsor to come forward to help.
"We can allocate places to people who raise money through sponsored events.
"At the two day event there will be free defibrillator training, ideal for smaller sports clubs in the community.
"It will be a subsidised, proper qualification.
"Sports students form a large part of our population and they are more aware of cardiac risk now in themselves, and their peers.
"It is more likely to happen in that age group.
"The risk dramatically falls after the age of 35, but there are no symptoms and only an ECG will show an irregularity."
To donate to our Stop the Heartbreak campaign, visit justgiving. com/stoptheheartbreak.