The launch of a new National Sports First Aid programme for 1,300 coaches and volunteers was hailed as ‘fantastic news’ by Joelle Murray, the Hibs women’s captain and Scotland internationalist.

Funded by The Scottish Football Partnership Trust as part of their 2020 donation from Mr James Anderson and a recent investment from an anonymous donor, coaches and volunteers working within the youth and women’s game will receive support and training on Sports First Aid courses delivered all over Scotland by the Hampden Sports Clinic.

Joelle Murray said: “This is another great boost for football at grassroots level by the SFP Trust. It’s fantastic news. Sports First Aid is so important as the incident with Christian Eriksen at the Euros highlighted. It was a tragedy avoided and it really brought home how it can occur at any level, even to super fit professionals. The SFP Trust programme ensures these First Aid skills are available at grassroots levels, not just with elite clubs.”

James Clydesdale chair of the SFP Trust said: “Over the last decade we’ve funded bespoke Sports First Aid training for over 3,500 coaches and volunteers through our partnership with the Hampden Sports Clinic. Now we aim to fund training for another 1,300 to make the grassroots game safer for all involved.”

Doctor John MacLean of the Hampden Sports Clinic said: “The National Sports First Aid (NSFA) course is designed as a basic level, pitchside first aid course to provide coaches, parents and volunteers with the knowledge and confidence to deal with injuries and illnesses that occur on the field. We have recently seen during EURO2020 how important CPR can be and the course teaches candidates basic life support skills including the use of automated external defibrillators (AED’s). The course has been updated to include all relevant guidance for first aid in the presence of COVID-19.”

The Hampden course also teaches how to treat common sports injuries such as concussion, as well as other medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and epilepsy. The course comprises an online e-learning module followed by completion of a practical session, with each candidate receiving a certificate which is valid for three years.

Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) CEO, Aileen Campbell, said: “SWF is delighted to continue working with our partners at The Scottish Football Partnership Trust who are providing vital funding for the delivery of National Sports First Aid training to our member clubs. Through collaboration with the wider football family this support comes at a really important time. When Christian Eriksen received crucial medical treatment on the pitch whilst playing in this Summer’s Euros, it was a timely and heart-breaking reminder for those of us responsible for running the game to ensure the medical safety of everyone playing football. This training helps us move towards making the game safer and I hope it can help reassure volunteers how much we value what they do by supporting them in this way and shows to parents and carers our determination and commitment to improving the game for everyone.”

Scottish Youth FA (SYFA) Chief Operating Officer, Florence Witherow, said: “This kind of training literally saves lives and this new fund will mean that 1,000 SYFA volunteers can access the National Sports First Aid course. Our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people who participate under our jurisdiction. Our ongoing relationship with the SFP Trust has helped make first aid training more accessible and this will further enhance the amazing work that our volunteers across the length and breadth of the country carry out every week.”