Sport Northern Ireland which has gave out 1,200 defibrillators to sports clubs and community groups at a cost £850,000 and the Department for Communities have marked Restart a Heart Day 2018 by revealing the latest line up of dates for their continued awareness training in using defibrillators.

Defibrillators for Sport, which opened for applications in July 2016, aims to increase the number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available in community settings by allocating free AED devices to sports clubs and community groups across Northern Ireland. Successful applicants have also been receiving free defibrillation training sessions on the safe usage and maintenance of their new devices.

The defibrillators were provided by Sport Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities as part of their Defibrillators for Sport initiative. The scheme has also provided CPR training to over 1000 people and has involved a mapping exercise with the NI Ambulance Service to record the location of all the allocated devices.

Tyrone GAA star Conor Gormley presented new defibrillators to local clubs in the area and commenting on the difference the devices will make, he said:

“A few months ago, my dad had an episode and collapsed at a football match in Arboe and only for the defibrillator being there and being available, we could have a totally different story. We just wanted to say how important defibrillators are, that they’re regularly checked, regularly updated and that they’re accessible to use. You never know when you’ll need it, we didn’t know as a family going down to Ardboe to a Gaelic football match that evening that we would have needed one. We advise every club or any person that is in charge of them, keep them updated, keep them accessible and they’re a very very important piece of equipment. And we’d like to thank Sport Northern Ireland for all their work, they’ve delivered so many, over 1000 defibrillators to different sports clubs in Northern Ireland”

Commenting on the milestone, Sport NI CEO Antoinette McKeown commented:

“Restart a Heart Day is all about helping to train and support people to learn the lifesaving skills that are vital in instances of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Sport NI is proud to be supporting this message with the Department for Communities through our Defibrillators for Sport initiative. Sports clubs play a vital role in local communities and this initiative has seen over 1000 defibrillators distributed to sports clubs and has provided training to club members. Through this programme, Sport NI aims to increase the number of people who survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest”.

Kathryn Hill the Director of Active Communities in the Department for Communities commented:-

“The Department has provided £850k, through SportNI, to support the provision of defibrillators across the sports sector. That investment has made an impact on communities, individuals and has contributed to lives being saved. The key messaging around the provision of defibrillators remains critical and includes the importance of contacting the Ambulance Service immediately an incident occurs, performing CPR and having access to a defibrillator as quickly as possible.

The mapping of accessible defibrillators to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Mapping System by sports clubs is critical in assisting with a co-ordinated response in an emergency situation.

Today is a great opportunity to restate the key messages as well as recognise and celebrate the very positive impact that the deployment of the defibrillators has had across Northern Ireland and the Department is proud of the role it has played.”

Louise McCrea, Regional Development Officer for Sport for Special Olympics:

“It’s a great initiative by Sport NI and Department for Communities in which they are providing training for access to the AED defibrillators. This is a great initiative and the training is accessible to everyone. We would encourage all of our club, we know a couple of them have already joined the programme and received their defibs and if there’s anybody in those clubs or in other clubs in our programme, then we would actively encourage them to join”

For more information about Sport NI’s defibrillators awareness training and where the sessions are being held, go to –