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Be ready this Heart Month

More than 1500 Irish League football players and coaches and almost 10,000 supporters will be given the opportunity to learn vital lifesaving skills during Heart Month in February.

The NI Football League has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland to promote the charity’s free and innovative online CPR training tool RevivR.

There are over 1,400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in Northern Ireland. Tragically, less than one in 10 people survive, a statistic the BHF is determined to improve by giving everyone the opportunity to learn CPR.

To that end, BHF NI are working with all 38 men’s Clubs and 10 women’s Clubs across the NIFL family to encourage CPR education this month.

The BHF’s RevivR programme enables organisations and individuals to learn CPR in 15 minutes for free, teaching users how to carry out chest compressions and use a defibrillator with confidence. All that’s required is a smartphone or tablet and a cushion.

During the month of February, the new partnership will also aim to raise awareness of heart and circulatory diseases with around 225,000 people in NI currently suffering with some form of heart or circulatory condition.

Promotional activities will be taking place at six Irish Premiership matches across the coming weekend, including at Stangmore Park, where Cliftonville face Dungannon Swifts.

Neil Coleman, Head of Communications and Digital Innovation at NIFL, said: “With recent high profile cardiac arrests within the football community, we feel it is vitally important to raise awareness and educate players, coaches, staff and supporters about the prevalence of heart conditions and associated risks.

“Our main focus in our partnership with BHF NI is on what we can do to help the football community be able to take action if they are in a situation which required lifesaving, through learning CPR.”

In recent seasons, NIFL has supplied all member Clubs with defibrillators and the new partnership continues the League’s ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of players, Club officials and supporters at every stadium.

Fearghal McKinney, Head of BHF NI, said: “Around 225,000 people in NI currently live with some form of heart or circulatory condition, so it has never been more crucial to continue our fight to save and improve more lives by investing in lifesaving research.

“Partnering with NIFL offers us a huge opportunity to reach not only players and coaches but communities throughout Northern Ireland to help them become lifesavers.

“I would encourage all football players, coaches, staff, volunteers and supporters to take 15 minutes, the length of half-time in a football match, to learn the skills to help save a life.”

To support the British Heart Foundation this Heart Month and find out more about RevivR, visit To try RevivR, go to