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Teaching Footballers to SCORE Lives

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

GOAL Sessions July 2023

In July of 2023, while the UEFA Under 19 Football Championships were held in Malta, the Malta Resuscitation Council (MRC) united its instructors to teach on GOAL (GO and save A Life) sessions. This venture, formulated between the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), serves to promote the awareness of the importance of early recognition of patients in cardiac arrest, how to commence CPR and use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to ensure the best possible outcome of survival. GOAL involved short awareness sessionsin which basic skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were taught to the players, coaches, and other supporting members of the eight participating teams. Over 200 players, coaches and supporting members got involved in this initiative.

GOAL sessions have been organised at various UEFA events all over Europe this year and all staff at UEFA are being trained.

The last session was part of a symposium for young sports journalists following the AIPS Media 2024 Young Reporters Programme. This last session was attended by Dr Zoran Bahtijarevic, the Chief Medical Officer of UEFA, a main catalyst of this whole GOAL venture.

Malta Resuscitation Council’s Chair, Dr Tanya Esposito, together with the Secretary, Dr Nicole Zerafa, prepared a team of dedicated volunteers within the Council’s framework by organising various preparatory workshopsto ensure standardisation of all GOAL sessions delivered. Dr Daniel McKean, Medical Co-ordinator at the Malta Football Association (MFA) and MRC Council member, was responsible for all the logistics over GOAL’s two-day span. The MFA’s commitment to the delivery of the GOAL sessions was a key element in their success.

It was most gratifying to see young athletes focused on their important football competitions taking also an intent interest in absorbing knowledge and skills, overcoming language barriers and time constraints, to help them become life-savers on the pitch. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, with the attendees feeling now better prepared for facing such situations in future.

The MRC continuously promotes and works hard to spread the knowledge and skills about basic, advanced, and child life support to medical and non-medical entities in the Maltese Islands, and abroad.

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