Belmont, Perth,

Friendship Games adds first aid training to its events calendar

Hundreds of children participating in the 2015 Friendship Games in Perth this month will learn vital first aid skills as part of the international sporting event.

St John Ambulance WA is partnering with the Friendship Games to promote the importance of first aid to more than 300 youth from Western Australia, China and Indonesia taking part.

In addition to providing first aid cover for the entire program, St John will train the participants and then oversee a First Aid Challenge in which youth will compete against each other to test their new first aid skills.

St John Chief Executive Officer Tony Ahern said the Friendship Games were a fantastic opportunity to engage with young people and inspire them to practice their new life-saving skills.

“Our involvement in the event complements our other youth engagement initiatives which include providing free first aid training for more than 100,000 school-aged children through the First Aid Focus program,” Mr Ahern said.

“No one is too young to learn first aid.”

Friendship Games founder and four-time Olympian Andrew Vlahov said he was thrilled St John was supporting the Games.

“The Friendship Games is all about friendly sporting participation to promote health and wellbeing in young people,” Mr Vlahov said.

“First aid is an integral component of this and it is fantastic that St John will be providing all participants with hands-on, practical training which they will take with them through their lives.”

As part of the training module, St John has produced CPR guides in Simplified Chinese for the 70 Chinese speaking students attending the games.

“First aid is taught differently around the world but the principles are universal,” Mr Ahern said.

“We are proud to teach these vital skills to our international guests and hope they gain confidence in their ability to assist in an emergency.

“Lives are saved and the impact of injuries reduced when we have resilient communities with people who are equipped to deal with these situations through a basic knowledge of first aid.”

The games are open to youth aged 12 – 17 years participating in track and field, swimming, soccer, basketball, AFL demonstration, badminton, volleyball and table tennis events over eight days from 22 January.