Over forty Rockie members of the Austin Stacks GAA club in Tralee laid down their footballs and hurleys as they put their hearts to the test. The football and hurling club was selected as one of the winning clubs to undergo vital and potentially life-saving heart screenings as part of ‘The Big Screen’ with laya healthcare. At the weekend, members of the club, both male and female, aged from 12 upwards attended this screening.
Catherine Ryan, Austin Stacks Club Secretary, spoke on the club’s behalf of their delight at being chosen for the Big Screen; “Austin Stacks are honored, privileged and delighted to be associated with laya healthcare and their cardiac screening initiative. The club understands the importance of this screening and we hope that this cardiac screening process will give our players peace of mind”.
Austin Stacks is a well-known and honored club with more All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals (88) and GAA All-Stars than any other GAA club in Ireland. They have many notable players at the top of the Rock such as Kieran Donaghy, Joe Barrett, Mikey Sheehy, Ger Power, John O’Keeffe, Dinny Long, Pa Laide,William Kirby, and Daniel Bohan. Austin Stacks GAA is the only club in Kerry to have won Senior County Championships in both hurling and football. The club has a dedicated core of coaches and mentors at all levels, juvenile and senior, hurling and football, ladies and men’s’ and these have contributed to numerous successes in recent years.
Anne Moynihan, a parent at Austin Stacks GAA spoke about her reasons for nominating the club for the Big Screen; “All of my children play football for Austin Stacks GAA Club, and so I had no hesitation in nominating the club for this heart screening initiative. I think it is vital to undergo cardiac screen as I recently read that young adults are among the highest risk category for death from SADS. As a parent of three, this is a scary statistic. I believe that cardiac screening will help to alleviate fears parents may have regarding their children’s heart health. I was delighted to hear that the club had been chosen for this free cardiac screening and I would like to thank laya healthcare for this opportunity.”
Dónal Clancy, Managing Director of laya healthcare says, “About 100 young people under 35 years die in Ireland from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) each year. That’s 100 people too many in our view. It can strike without warning and affect super-fit athletes as well as ordinary young people. At laya healthcare we are investing close to €1million to help increase public awareness of SADS and make a difference by providing free screenings to our 475,000 members. Now there’s also the chance for sports and social clubs across Ireland, no matter how big or small, to nominate themselves for screenings. The good news is that most of the conditions that cause SADS can be treated so if we save even one life with our Big Screen campaign, then it will all have been worth it.”
Cardiac screening involves an ECG carried out by a medical doctor, along with a thorough clinical examination. The results of the test are reviewed and reported by a consultant Cardiologist. The laya healthcare Big Screen campaign is open to all types of sports and social clubs, no matter how big or small, or what level of skill or fitness is involved. Whether you are a rugby club, swimming group, dance troop, hill walking societies, karate club, GAA club or more, laya healthcare is calling on you today to get involved! To nominate your club for free heart screenings please visit www.facebook.com/LayaHealthcare, click ‘like’ to find out more and nominate your club.