Heart Institute to screen footballers, coaches in the Jamaica Premier LeagueMonday, June 14, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) is now on board as sponsors of the Jamaica Premier League and will provide cardiovascular screening to some 407 footballers, coaches and managers from all 12 teams in the Jamaica Premier League for the 2021 season at an estimated value of $14 million.
The entity said screening will be done on an ongoing basis throughout the season under the ambit of the HIC Foundation Play Smart Programme that is designed to screen and detect underlying cardiovascular diseases that could be potentially be catastrophic for players if undetected.
HIC Chairman, Professor Ernest Madu, shared, “cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death and disability across the world, including Jamaica. It could have catastrophic outcome if it goes undetected.”
Madu added, “The best thing is for footballers and coaches to understand what their risks are and how to mitigate against those risks. 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 saids it 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.”
Professional Football Jamaica's Donovan White believes this is a timely sponsorship for the 2021 season.
“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. 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,” he said.
Since 2,000, FIFA has recorded over 50 deaths related to heart failure, heart attack or cardiac arrest during play. A study by the American College of Cardiology in 2018 revealed that playing professional sports is associated with short and long-term effects on the heart, including increased cardiovascular risk.
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