Sports minister calls for more cardiac screening of young athletes

One young athlete being screened
Image caption The Tonbridge Angels FC screening for 14-35 year-olds was fully booked

More needs to be done to prevent young people in sport dying suddenly from undetected heart problems, a government minister has said.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch was at Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)'s 1,000th heart screening, at Tonbridge Angels Football Club in Kent.

The club has seen two young players die, including Junior Dian who collapsed during an away match in 2015.

Ms Crouch said: "Screening has to be done by the sports themselves."

After Mr Dian's death, Ms Crouch pledged in Parliament that she would look into compulsory screening for athletes.

Image caption Sports minister Tracey Crouch pledged two years ago to look into compulsory screening

She said: "Before I made that pledge nothing was happening, now something is happening.

"More sports are getting involved in screening their young. But we would like more to happen."

According to CRY, 12 people under the age of 35 die from an undiagnosed cardiac condition every week in the UK.

Roger Maddams of CRY said the sports minister was a very good supporter but progress was "slow".

He added: "We would like to get to a situation as in Italy where anyone playing an organised sport over the age of 14 has to be screened."

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