Rob Worrincy is a long standing member of the Halifax Rugby League team and a very dedicated athlete when it comes to his health and well being. Following the recent screening that Heartbeat of Sport carried out on all of the Halifax staff and players, Rob has written a blog on his thoughts about screening and what the charity is achieving:

The importance of athlete safety is often forgotten and in some cases overlooked, Particularly the lower down the participation level you get. In my opinion safeguarding is something that is essential in all areas of life.

With recent events highlighting the need for more safety around one of the most vital organs to the human body, I and my team mates were given the opportunity to see whether our hearts were in good shape. Now being a semi-professional athlete some would automatically assume that an organ like the heart would be in excellent condition but as recent and past stories have shown this isn’t always the case and even a minor overlooked issue could lead to potentially fatal consequences.

Luckily my own screening came back with no issues, which was an expected but all the same welcome relief. I believe more screenings like this are required in sport, the safeguarding of participants can’t be more important no matter the sport they are involved and across all participation levels. Being aware of any potential problems will help to avoid and minimise any risk to the participants and aid the medical staff in case of emergency.

Raising the awareness of the steps we can take to protect all aspects of the health of athletes and participants in sport is something that is in my opinion very undervalued. The physical and mental stresses/demands that athletes can undertake is something that we can, myself included, can often forget. Charities such as Heartbeat of Sport do a great job of raising awareness and providing opportunities to learn more about and educate organisations into steps they can take to do more to support their athletes and participants. CPR training, defibrillator machines and heart screenings just some of the things they cover.

Can you put a value on your health? I couldn’t either. Screenings and training are something I believe should be done at every professional sporting organisation and where possible amateur clubs. They say the best cure to a problem is prevention.

Let’s all be fully aware of our heart condition before we place any extra stress on it!