GUEST BLOG - First Aid for Sport and Exercise

Chorley FC Supporters Trust fund lifesaving equipment

A big thank you to Danny Fishwick of Chorley FC for our most recent guest blog. Danny has attended a number of Lubas Medical courses and we felt Chorley's story of local supporters pulling together for the good of the club was too good to ignore! A great example of player safety being the number 1 priority throughout all levels of sport.

Danny explains the story in his own words. Enjoy!

I’m Danny Fishwick, the Sports Rehabilitator at Chorley Football Club. I have a degree in Sports Rehabilitation which I graduated from in 2010. Working in football I also have pitchside first aid and sports trauma management qualifications.

My role at Chorley Football Club is to lead the medical department for the first team through to the under 18s teams. I am the point of contact for all the players when it comes to injury diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation and refer them on as and when required. Throughout my training, I was involved in non-league football working voluntarily with Stalybridge Celtic, Ashton United and Northwich Victoria. I was given the opportunity to go to Huddersfield Town on placement at university and luckily I ended up staying there for the best part of three years. I worked with their first team and academy as well as working with Altrincham FC in the Conference North. Before joining Chorley I spent a year in Australia working with a semi-pro team called Armadale and also with Perth Glory who is the professional soccer team in Western Australia.

Chorley play in the National League North (formerly the Conference North) and was very close to reaching the National League last year in the play-off final – we were extremely unlucky on the day losing 3-2 to Guiseley, this would have been back-to-back promotions following us winning the Northern Premier League the season before. Our manager is Matt Jansen, who played in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers. It is a sleeping giant of a club and everything is in place for us to keep building and progressing as far as humanly possible – with the main aim being the Football League.

We are lucky at Chorley as we have a good backroom team and a good set of people behind the scenes. We have first aiders that would help me in a traumatic incident and stewards who are also stretcher bearers so everything is in place if traumatic injuries occur. The physios of each team are also very helpful in these situations. Traumatic injuries need to be managed efficiently and confidently – obviously with crowds of 1000-2000 every week we are being watched very closely to ensure we are following protocol fully and properly. As long as everything is done properly and the player is as comfortable as possible before the EMS arrives, we have done our job in a pre-hospital setting.

One of the courses which I really wanted to add to my toolbox was the use of Oxygen and Entonox. This is used in professional sport but not so much at semi-professional level. I wanted to get this introduced to the club and have a few medical personnel from different clubs in our league attend so it becomes more regular at our level of football. This is life-saving equipment and if one life is saved by using it over the space of 10 years then it is worth it. Due to a lot of the oxygen courses being held down south, I enquired about the possibility of hosting this at Chorley FC during the summer. This was arranged through Lubas Medical who came to our club and put on the course. We had medical staff attending from AFC Fylde, Curzon Ashton and Airbus UK just to name a few.

Being trained up is one thing, but purchasing the equipment is another at this level of football. I have been quite lucky with being supported fully when I want to introduce new ideas to the club. At this level of football, however, the funds aren’t there to be spent in large sums, especially in the summer / pre-season when there are no crowd incomes from games coming into the club. To purchase the oxygen I was lucky enough to have the full backing of the Chorley FC Supporters Trust, who sponsored and purchased it for the club.

Chorley Supporters Trust Board Member James Wilson, who arranged the LifeLine Pro Oxygen kit sponsorship, said:

"I help out as a steward at Chorley FC on matchdays. When the club suggested buying a Lifeline oxygen kit I immediately thought of the Trust. Safety in the football ground is of paramount importance, both on and off the pitch. The Trust is constantly working with Chorley FC to improve the matchday experience so this sponsorship deal was a natural fit for us."

I am tremendously grateful for this support and it proves that clubs at lower levels have a great camaraderie with everyone pulling together to reach the same goal. The staff, players, Trust and the fans all work together for the good of the club, we all want to be in the Football League and with this foundation the sky is the limit. This is what happens in non-league football as the money isn’t always there so everyone pulls together to run the club – which is what makes it so enjoyable to be involved in.

Fantastic work from Danny, Chorley FC and the trust.

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