Esher Rugby Club has become the first rugby club in the country to receive the gift of defibrillation equipment from the national charity RALPHH.
A portable defibrillator was donated to the Club, adding to the existing provision but also making sure that players were fully covered when either playing home or away. The presentation was made by stalwart supporters of the charity, Christina and Kevin Sage, before the game against Newport, which was arranged to mark the 100th anniversary of the Esher Club.
The RALPHH charity – based in Surbiton – has been active for the last four years in helping sporting clubs have adequate provision for both participants and spectators. Initial emphasis was first given to the sport of rowing, as the charity takes its name from the late Robert Allen who was a National Schools Champion and died unexpectedly in 2018. In the last year clubs involved in sailing and hockey have been added to the recipient list, with the charity looking forward to assisting more rugby clubs across England and Wales by either gifting equipment or making sizeable grants to help in making appropriate preparation for the unexpected.
“It is increasingly acknowledged that heart or cardiac failure can occur in the most unexpected of circumstances, but there is no doubt that where people are participating in strenuous sport there is a higher risk”, said Richard Allen, Chairman of the charity. “Playing sports like rugby have so many benefits, but it is right that organisers recognise the risks, at whatever level that sport might be played, and then take the appropriate steps.”
The opponents for this centenary fixture were most appropriate, as it was Welsh long-term visitors to Esher who first decided to form the local rugby club, based upon their experiences at Newport.
In a tight game Esher emerged successful, winning by just one point by the last kick of the match.
Pictured just prior to kickoff are; (second left) Club Physiotherapist, Chantal Pace; Peter Winterbottom, Esher RFC Director of Rugby; Christina and Kevin Sage, or behalf of RALPHH. The group are flanked by players James Botterilll and Taylor Gayle.