The University of Gloucestershire is celebrating an action-packed 48 hours during which families and business people met five-time Olympic rowing hero Sir Steve Redgrave.
A total of 200 young people had their hearts screened at the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and over 500 people came through the doors for two-day event which took place on April 8 and 9.
The ‘Stop the Heartbreak’ event was held at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester. Of the 200, a small number of people’s findings will be reviewed to find out further information, due to the super-cautious nature of the CRY screenings.
The University is in partnership with Gloucestershire Media to raise money for cardiac screening for young people in the county and has successfully raised the £7000 required for this year’s event. Any additional money raised will go towards the next screening event.
The highlights of the two-day celebration of sport and physical activity included Q&A sessions with special guests including five-time Olympic rowing champion and patron of CRY, Sir Steve Redgrave and his wife Dr Ann Redgrave, along with Gloucester Rugby player Darren Dawiduik and players from the University of Gloucestershire All Golds Rugby League team.
Sir Steve provided an incredible insight into the life of an Olympic champion at both a Q&A session, family session and at the All Golds Business Breakfast. Dr Ann Redgrave, GB Rowing’s Team Doctor held an insightful anti-doping in sport session. There were also inspirational talks by local adventurers Jamie McDonald, who ran 5,000-miles across Canada and his cousin Kevin Brady, who paddled solo along the 2,350-mile Mississippi River from source to sea in a 17ft canoe.
The University Rowing Club completed their 32-hour rowing marathon at 5pm on Wednesday, after Sir Steve Redgrave started it off at 10am on Tuesday.
Sir Steve said: “Supporting CRY's work is something I am delighted to be part of and I have been especially proud to be involved in the Stop the Heartbreak event with the hard work that has been put in by University of Gloucestershire staff and students to make this event a success.
“If the screening sessions save one person’s life, it has been well worth it.
“I had first-hand experience of the impact of such a death when at the age of 17, my best friend and crewmate Robert Hayley stood up and died of what we were told was a cardiac abnormality. He was 17 and that memory is always with me.
“The University Rowing Club did a fantastic job completing their 32-hour rowing marathon, particularly for a small club, and they should be very pleased with their efforts.
“I enjoyed attending the All Golds Business Breakfast at the University and it would be great to see if more sports could be involved in this increasingly successful event in the future.”
Mike Cogger, Faculty Dean of Applied Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “I’m thrilled with how successful the event has been, it has been brilliant seeing local children meeting their idols and adults too! Importantly, CRY have screened 200 local young people within the two days and this was the main purpose of the Stop the Heartbreak fundraising efforts.
“Our students in Events Management, Media and Sports Education have been brilliant and all their work gives them experience of real life events and situations which is a vitally important part of their course.”
“I’m extremely grateful to all the exhibitors and local and national sporting heroes who have pledged their time and support to the Stop the Heartbreak campaign, particularly Sir Steve and Dr Ann Redgrave.”
“We are still raising money for the screenings, as we look to organise the next screening event, so I’d urge anyone who hasn't yet donated to do so via our Just Giving webpage. We are extremely grateful for any contribution.”
Lionel Hurst, Chairman of the University of Gloucestershire All Golds’ Rugby League, was delighted that Sir Steve was able to attend the All Golds Business Breakfast.
He said: “For us to hear what a champion like Sir Steve Redgrave has got to say is absolutely marvellous. We will go away, digest it, and relate it to our own targets and aims for the All Golds.”