On Friday, to mark the culmination of weeks of hard work and effort, we staged a black tie ball to mark the official launch of the Heartbeat of Sport charity. It’s fair to say the night was a huge success and there may have been a few tired faces on Saturday morning.

The ball was staged at The Venue, Barkisland and was attended by around 170 people, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale. The night was full of fun and festivities and after a welcome drink to get the party going, people took to their seats to hear the main presentations.

Compere Martin Overton then handed the microphone over to Charity Chair Tony Abbott who delivered his presentation on sudden cardiac arrest in sport. The presentation gave a blunt reality to the condition and as it came to an end, the audience were rendered completely into silence.

Adrian Purtell and Frank Watene were special guest speakers on the night, and both relayed back to the audience their first hand experiences of sudden cardiac arrest in their lives. Frank tragically lost his cousin Adam Watene (who played for the Wakefield Wildcats at the time) to a sudden cardiac arrest in 2008 and Adrian, who plays for the Bradford Bulls, was the victim of cardiac arrest after the derby match against the Leeds Rhinos during last season. Both stressed the importance of how regular screening for professional sports players would increase the chances of detecting heart problems at an earlier stage, and prevent sudden cardiac arrest from happening in the future.

After an amazing dinner, the Heartbeat of Sport auction was then due to start. There were six lots for guests to bid on and a fantastic amount of money was raised. The lots were:

1.    England football shirt and Champions League Programme signed by Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill
2.    Olympic apparel signed by Paralympics double gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft
3.    Signed portrait of ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson
4.    Signed portrait of Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton
5.    Umbro football boots signed by Gary Cahill
6.    A home cooking evening for six people to be wined and dined in their own home kindly donated by the Design House

All of the lots were fiercely contested for in the auction and all in all we ended up raising over £3,000 for Heartbeat of Sport which was a fantastic response.

Ten amazing prizes were also donated to Heartbeat of Sport which were to be given out on the night. Guests could purchase a Heartbeat of Sport wristband for £10 and have access to the games and goodies area, where there were various mini games that could be played including mini-golf. The prizes included; Comedy night tickets, Jimmy Carr tickets, family portrait shoots, massages and more.

The entertainment for the evening was provided by “The French 75’s” who have written the song ‘Believe’ exclusively for Heartbeat of Sport. The song will be available for download on iTunes from the 12th of November and all proceeds from the song will be given to the charity. After playing a live set, the DJ then took to the floor as the disco got underway and guests danced the rest of the night away.

The charity ball was a huge success for us and we would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everybody who helped to make this event possible. We have kicked Heartbeat of Sport off in fantastic fashion and we now have the foundation to carry on achieving great things for our charity.

The total money raised on the evening managed to surpass the £10,000 mark which is an unbelievable amount of money for our charity’s first event. We are truly grateful for every penny received.