By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 15, 2014-Sudden cardiac arrest can occur in anybody, including in seemingly healthy youth soccer players without a diagnosed heart disease. 360,000 deaths are attributed annually in the United States to sudden cardiac arrest.
The volunteers at the Rockville Centre Soccer Club recognize these sobering facts and they will provide all 33 of their travel teams with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and an additional 10 AEDs for coverage at all of Rockville Centre’s intramural soccer fields. Although a large number of soccer clubs in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) have AEDs at their fields, Rockville Centre providing a separate AED for all their travel teams is extraordinary.
“We are pleased to be a leader in providing a safer playing environment for our players, volunteer coaches and parents,” said James M. Belling, Rockville Centre Soccer Club Intramural Chairman and Second Vice President. “We had a close call with an adult basketball player in town who was saved by an AED provided by Cardiac Science, so we feel we would rather be proactive with this and not have to look back at some tragedy thinking it could have been prevented.”
Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function and if it's not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death, according to the American Heart Association. The shock from an AED can stop an irregular rhythm plus allow a normal rhythm to resume and can be the difference between life and death. Tragically, more than 95% of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. However, if a victim receives defibrillation within one minute of sudden cardiac arrest, there is a 90% chance of resuscitation. If a victim must wait 10 minutes for defibrillation, the chance of survival drops to less than 5%.
“When you read the statistics or hear stories about athletes dying from sudden cardiac arrest, you realize that AEDs are an investment,” Belling added. “We hope that soccer clubs around the country follow our lead.”
Founded in 1971, thousands of boys and girls have proudly worn the red-and-white of the Rockville Centre Soccer Club, including current U.S. Women’s National Team defender Crystal Dunn.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.