A Pontypool RFC supporter who tragically passed away last year has left a lasting legacy after the £700 his family donated to the club was used to purchase potentially life saving emergency cardiac equipment.
Dai Williams, who taught Biology at West Monmouth School and later at Pontypool College, was a passionate volunteer for Pontypool RFC. He served as a committee member for the club from 1984 until it was disbanded in 1998 and continued to take a particular interest in the club’s medical operation until his untimely passing.
In recognition of his commitments, Pontypool RFC named its new medical facility the ‘David Williams Medical Room’ in honour of Dai, which was officially unveiled at the club’s match against Narberth on 27th September 2014 by members of the Williams family.
With the £700 left to Pooler by the family, the club invested in a defibrillator and extensive training in how to operate the cardiac device from the charity, Welsh Hearts. As a result, over 40 members of Pontypool RFC are now equipped with the skills to act quickly in the event of a medical emergency, both at the ground and further afield.
Dr. Gareth Roberts, Medical Lead for Saving Lives in Wales with Welsh Hearts, who also delivered the training programme to Pontypool RFC, said: “As doctors, we regularly see the incredible difference that bystanders can make to patient survival.
“If a player or spectator suffers a cardiac arrest, the importance of knowing what do to and how to do it in the vital minute before an ambulance arrives cannot be underestimated.
“We are all very passionate about this project and by passing on our experience and skills with our training programme, we have provided rugby club members with the confidence and ability to manage a medical emergency and potentially save a life.”
The concept of investing in the potentially lifesaving initiative was devised by Pontypool RFC Medical Director, Angus Robertson, following an occurrence of a supporter suffering a cardiac arrest at a previous Pontypool RFC fixture. The individual survived after a defibrillator was obtained from the neighbouring Torfaen Leisure Centre.
“At Pontypool RFC we aim for the highest standards both on an off the field, and we saw no better way to invest this generous donation than to maximise our cardiac related resources,” said Robertson.
“We are pleased to have been able to work with Welsh Hearts and Dr. Gareth Roberts to ensure that in the event of a serious cardiac event at Pontypool Park, we have the staff and skills to respond in a timely and professional manner.
“A significant investment has been made in the previous 18 months in ensuring high quality medical coverage for players and spectators alike is available, and this demonstrates our commitment to operating to the highest standard in everything we do at Pontypool RFC.”