Fri | Jul 23, 2021

JPL players to get heart screening

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2021 | 12:11 AM
Heart Institute of the Caribbean Chairman Professor Ernest Madu.
Heart Institute of the Caribbean Chairman Professor Ernest Madu.
Waterhouse FC’s Rafiek Thomas (left) challenges Tivoli Gardens’ Ranike Anderson for the ball during a Jamaica Premier League game at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex, on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
Waterhouse FC’s Rafiek Thomas (left) challenges Tivoli Gardens’ Ranike Anderson for the ball during a Jamaica Premier League game at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex, on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
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The Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) has formed a partnership with the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) to provide heart screening to over 400 footballers, coaches, and managers from all 12 Jamaica Premier League teams for the season, which starts on Saturday.

The deal is worth an estimated $14 million.

This collaboration follows an incident during Euro 2020 where Denmark midfielder Christian Erikson collapsed on the field from a heart attack during a game against Finland on Saturday.

Screening will be done on a continual basis throughout the season under the ambit of the HIC’s Play Smart Programme, designed to screen and detect underlying heart diseases that could be dangerous for players if undetected.

HIC Chairman Professor Ernest Madu says heart disease is the number one cause of death and disability across the world.

UNDERSTAND RISKS

“The best thing is for footballers and coaches to understand what their risks are and how to mitigate against those risks,” he said. “We will not just screen the players and treat the conditions, but we will engage in preventive cardiovascular work to help them live better, healthier lives to keep them safe from cardiovascular disease. The Heart Institute will also conduct seminars as part of the sponsorship offer.

“We will engage them through seminars for themselves, their families, their coaches and administrators, so it becomes a habit in terms of living healthier lives.”

PFJL Commercial Committee Chairman Donovan White welcomes the sponsorship.

“We believe it is the responsible thing to do, to determine, with a reasonable degree of reliability, whether our footballers are free from cardiovascular abnormalities that could increase the risk of death during training or competition,” he said. “We are truly elated with the HIC’s decision to partner with the Jamaica Premier League in a way that will protect our players from what is a real challenge globally.”

sports@gleanerjm.com