DCSIMG

Golfers take defibrillator cause to heart

From left, Graeme Beveridge (Leven Bowling Club), Gordon Robertson (Diageo), Dougie Hamilton (Leven Bowling Club), Ian Veitch (Leven Thistle captain), Archie Shanks (Leven Golfing Society captain), Jen Low (Links Joint Committee secretary-treasurer) and Iain Evans (Scottish Golf Union) Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

From left, Graeme Beveridge (Leven Bowling Club), Gordon Robertson (Diageo), Dougie Hamilton (Leven Bowling Club), Ian Veitch (Leven Thistle captain), Archie Shanks (Leven Golfing Society captain), Jen Low (Links Joint Committee secretary-treasurer) and Iain Evans (Scottish Golf Union) Picture by Fife Photo Agency.

Leven’s twin golf clubs are driving ahead with a new venture to help save lives at one of the town’s best known sporting venues.

A campaign has been launched to provide three defibrillators in the vicinity of the town’s famous links golf course – and the neighbouring bowling club – to help anyone who suffers a heart attack while playing at the popular outdoor sites.

Leven Thistle and Leven Golfing Society, managed by the Leven Links Joint Committee, are fully behind the move, which has some high-profile backing from elsewhere.

It’s being supported by the Scottish Golf Union, Diageo, and the charity Play Golf Save Lives, which was founded by Scotland’s former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, after he survived a cardiac arrest at a dinner in Aberdeen last year.

His campaign aims to have a life-saving defibrillator at every club or driving range in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2014.

A defibrillator can help to ‘shock’ a fluttering heart back to life, which can save vital time while ambulance crews are on their way to treat any one who has had a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

The Joint Committee decided on the move after just such an emergency on the course in May, when a 71-year-old Leven golfer took ill while out on the 10th fairway.

Potentially life-saving CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) was carried out by one of his fellow players, Gordon Robertson, while other golfers also assisted, and the man was taken to hospital.

The cost of a defibrillator is around £1000 and the clubs hope to arrange a series of fund-raising events, as well as taking advice on the best places in which to store the equipment, which needs a constant power supply.

They also hope to liaise with the Scottish Ambulance Service over training.

A collection box has been installed in the starter’s box for people to make donations before they go out to play golf, along with letters on the club noticeboards.

A Just Giving page is likely to be started up but, in the meantime, anyone wishing to contribute can contact 01333 428859.

Leven’s biggest employer, Diageo, has ensured a great start to the venture by donating £1000, which is enough to pay for the first defibrillator and training for staff.

The firm is supporting the campaign after being inspired by employee Gordon Robertson, who helped save a golfer’s life on Leven links by administering CPR.

David Light, manufacturing director, said: “All at Diageo and our colleagues at Leven in particular are very proud of Gordon and his actions. It was really fortunate he was on the golf course and had the training to administer CPR.

“We hope our support will encourage golfers and friends of Leven Links to achieve their goal.”

Gordon added: “It’s a great idea for the golf club to launch this campaign to invest in life-saving equipment so that others will be able to assist with anyone who needs help in the future.”

 

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