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NSW Government extends it support for community heart health initiatives

SYDNEY, June 27, 2024  — The Heartbeat of Football Foundation (the Foundation) is excited to announce an additional grant of $150,000 from the NSW Government to deliver more community sport focused heart health initiatives across regional NSW sporting grounds until 2026.

  • The “#HeartHealthMatters – Community + Sport” project is about helping build stronger, healthier, happier, and safer communities, by raising awareness about heart health issues; encouraging people to make positive health choices & delivering preventative Heart Health activities. So they continue to enjoy the benefits of participating in sport & active recreation.
  • The project will support 40 x #HeartHealthMatters Days across NSW with a focus on regional communities and those local government areas (LGAs) identified as high-risk heart hotspots (85% regional and 15% metro): delivering across all 10 NSW Government regions (Hunter; North Coast; Central Coast; Metropolitan Sydney; Illawarra; South East & Tablelands; New England/North West; Central West and Orana; Riverina Murray and the Far West);
  • The impact of CVD is greater for those living in regional and rural areas and underserved population groups including First Nations; Women and Multicultural communities.
  • The education, awareness, training, and preventative screening provided as part of this project provides people the knowledge, reassurance and confidence to continue to enjoy the many benefits of participating regularly in sport, irrespective of age, ability, gender or background.
  • This project supports other NSW Government initiatives, including the Local Sport Defibrillator program, and recent Budget programs including GP bulk billing relief; help for hospital emergency departments; infrastructure upgrades – all focused on supporting the economic development and wellbeing of regional communities.

The NSW Government has continued its support to the Heartbeat of Football Foundation (the Foundation) to scale its community sport focused heart health initiatives across regional NSW sporting grounds via an additional grant of $150,000.

The “#HeartHealthMatters – Community + Sport” project recognises that sport acts as a catalyst for community development, bringing communities together, building character, drives social change (integration & inclusion), inspires future generations, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

NSW Sports Minister Steve Kamper, “The intersection of community, sport, and health plays a vital role in shaping regional communities across NSW. By continuing to invest in and support these areas, regional communities in NSW can thrive and become more resilient and vibrant.”

Minister Kamper added, “Andy and the team at Heartbeat of Football Foundation deliver meaningful outcomes each weekend at sporting grounds and community events. It made sense to extend our support for the next few years, so that they continue making a difference to people, families and sporting communities across NSW.”

The Foundation presenting as both Heartbeat of Football & Heartbeat of Sport has now delivered over 12,000 nurse-led preventative heart health screening tests across Australia as well as provided over 1500 people with CPR & AED confidence sessions – growing the bystander network willing & able to respond to an emergency cardiac situation.

“This additional support from the NSW Government and Minister Kamper is a game-changer,” HOF Founder Andrew Paschalidis said.

“The fact that we will be able to deliver 85% (34 of the 40) #HeartHealthMatters days across regional NSW is truly transformative. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) disproportionately affects those in regional and rural areas, and underserved groups like First Nations, women, and multicultural communities. Enhanced funding can significantly reduce these disparities and improve overall health outcomes.,” Paschalidis added.

The “#HeartHealthMatters – Community + Sport” project will be delivering heart health checks to as many people as possible for key modifiable risk factors – Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol at their local sports ground. In addition, it will be holding CPR and AED confidence sessions to build a stronger & more diverse network of bystander confidence as every minute counts when a person is in cardiac arrest – as the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent every minute.

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