Increased calls for defibrillators to be installed at sports clubs across Wales

After the deaths of local sportspeople, a number of bodies around Wales are calling for defibrillators to be installed at sports clubs locally.

men playing rugby in mud at sports club
The Welsh Rugby Union are working with heart charity Calon Hearts to get defibrillators installed at all clubs across Wales. “…rugby!” by Antonio Cinotti is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Following the death of local cricketer Maqsood Anwar, there have been calls for defibrillators to be installed at sports clubs around Wales. 

The father-of-three, who played for Sully Centurions Cricket Club, seven miles from Cardiff, suffered a heart attack and died during a match against Monkswood Cricket Club in July. 

In the aftermath of his death, discussions around installing defibrillators began to intensify, with Sully club secretary Ricki Griffett telling Sport Wales: “If we had had a defibrillator closer … I’m not saying it would have saved his life, but it would have given him a much better chance.”

Anwar, 44, was playing at Monkswood’s home pitch when he was taken ill, and couldn’t be revived despite the best efforts of paramedics. A month later, Alex Evans, 31, suffered a fatal heart attack while playing for Cwmllynfell Rugby Club, and after these local tragedies as well as higher-profile instances – like the collapse of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen during Euro 2020 this summer – the calls for defibrillators are getting louder.

The Welsh Rugby Union and charity Calon Hearts have teamed up to ensure that defibrillators are installed at all Wales clubs, and the Welsh Government recently announced an additional £500,000 to improve community access to defibrillators.

Meanwhile, Sport Wales announced they will meet the training costs for clubs looking to ensure they’re properly used. 

Owen Hathway, Sport Wales’ assistant director of Insight, Policy and Public Affairs, said: “We know that this has been a campaign that has really caught the public attention as a result of some tragic incidents.”

Praising the actions of the Welsh Government and others in their bids to improve access to defibrillators, he explained that Sport Wales offers financial support for local clubs to fund first aid and safety training through its Be Active Wales Fund.