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Gateshead Hockey Club has become the first hockey club in the country to benefit from the gift of a defibrillator from the national charity RALPHH.

The presentation of the equipment in its carrying case was made on August Bank Holiday Monday at Whickham School, where the club play all of its home matches.

The charity RALPHH has been instrumental in providing either grants or gifting defibrillators to sporting clubs and schools across England, but Gateshead represents an important milestone and it is hoped that the action will encourage more hockey clubs to have defibrillators available at match locations. Officially recognised in August 2019, the charity has its origins in rowing. It followed the unexpected and sudden death of Robert Allen who had been a National Schools’ Rowing Champion. Friends and family decided to establish the Robert Allen Life Promotion and Healthy Hearts (RALPHH) in his memory, since when 20 clubs and schools and sports clubs have received help from the charity.

Gateshead Hockey Club boosted a membership of 54 men and 50 women, who between them content various divisions of Yorkshire and North East hockey. The Club also has a Junior Development group of 50.

“We would like to hear from more sporting clubs across the North of England, if they feel we can help them,” said Richard Allen Chairman of RALPHH. “Defibrillators save lives. Participating in exerting sports has many benefits, but the pace of a sport like modern-day hockey is considerable and we are keen that all of those involved have the right cover, should the unexpected occur.

Pictures left to right, with Whickham School in the background are: Chris Camsell, Chairman of Gateshead Hockey Club with players Matt Saunders, Peter McMeeekan, Pip Gaunt, Wendy Peacock; Richard Allen, Chairman of RALPHH; and more players Jacq Howell, Kate Wood, Rebkah Howell and Club Secretary, Michelle Beveridge.

Other clubs wishing to following the Gateshead example are encouraged to make contact to RALPHH by emailing



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