Tennis Leicestershire - Teaching everyone to save lives

Posted: Mon, 19 Feb 2024 09:00

Tennis Leicestershire - Teaching everyone to save lives

Buddle have been speaking to Tennis Leicestershire about their progress in making the whole league 'heartsafe' and how others can look to do the same so anyone can learn how to be a lifesaver.

The Tennis Leicestershire chair, Kate Stock, with the support of the Board, contacted all clubs to find out which organisations had defibrillator access after a member of her own club nearly lost their life as a result of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The member was playing away at a different club at the time of the incident and was treated immediately with their onsite defibrillator, a measure that saved his life.

Fortunately, had this happened at their home club there was also equipment on site to help revive them.

Following this personal encounter with the importance of life-saving equipment, members of staff and volunteers began contacting clubs and advising those without defibrillator access on purchase, funding and the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) training options available to them.

JHMT is an organisation set after the tragic loss of Joe Humpries, who died of an unforeseen heart condition at 14 when he was out jogging with a friend -

Currently, 48 out of 49 clubs are compliant - a massive achievement for Tennis Leicestershire, recognised at the recent Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) annual general meeting, by LTA president, Sandi Proctor in her opening speech.


Clubs were contacted to confirm their access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and to discuss any steps required to secure one if they were currently without.

The process presented a number of difficulties:

  • Clubs had very different legal structures. Some provided sessions from parish council-owned land, some in leisure centres or centrally-managed courts and some on privately-owned land. This meant finding the right point of contact often proved difficult.
  • Many club contacts (as provided on their websites) were out of date or included personnel that no longer worked on site.
  • Some clubs were hosted in centrally-managed or larger multi-sport venues and were unaware of where onsite their AEDs were located.
  • Clubs without AEDs noted a significant issue accessing the funds to purchase one immediately.

Despite the challenges, the communication from Tennis Leicestershire to each community club was a powerful way to reinstate outdated lines of communication and build stronger personal connections between volunteers.


Some clubs were proud to share their stories of using increased membership costs for one year to pay for the AED, fundraising effectively or benefitting from grant funding.

In addition, JHMT were on hand to provide free AED casing, site visits to decide on the best location for storage and free training to all.

Now, only one club in Leicestershire remains without access to an AED and the work continues.

A reminder that initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an AED within the first 3-5 minutes after a SCA can increase someone's chances of survival by 68%.

Top tips for organisations without AEDs

  • It only takes one person to start the conversation
  • Promote everyones capacity to be a life saver and the importance of having the appropriate means to help others
  • Take advantage of the free training and support offered from JHMT
  • Keep an eye on available funding
  • Stay connected with local organisations for support, advice or AED use if they're nearby

Source and Image: Buddle

Tags: News, Partner, Tennis