Referees take stress test for launch of Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign

Scotland’s top whistlers will measure their stress levels on William Hill Scottish Cup week to support the launch of the Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign. The launch of the Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign in Scotland will take place at the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals this weekend.  The campaigns is aimed at increasing public awareness of the links between high blood pressure and strokes and to support the campaign, match referees William Collum and Euan Norris, have agreed to have their blood pressure taken.

John Fleming, Head Referee Development at the Scottish Football Association, said: “I am delighted our referees are supporting the launch of Know Your Blood Pressure campaign in Scotland.  Referees are under a lot of pressure during games, especially so during high profile ones, so it will be fascinating to see if there is an effect on their blood pressure.  High blood pressure shows no symptoms and can be often referred to as the ‘silent killer’.  Everyone should get their blood pressure checked because it is the only way to know if you have it and it can be a serious risk to your health.”

The Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign is spearheaded by The Stroke Association in partnership with St Andrew’s First Aid and Rotary International.  At the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals, the referees will have their blood pressure taken before, during and after the matches to see what impact the occasion has on their blood pressure.

Maddy Halliday, Director Scotland of The Stroke Association, said: “High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for stroke increasing your chances of having a stroke by 40%.  Stroke can be devastating and affects thousands of people in Scotland including young and old – even babies. But it can be prevented and knowing your blood pressure is vital. If people can eat healthily, exercise, avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation, they will reduce their chance of having high blood pressure and a stroke. We are delighted to be working in partnership with St Andrew’s First Aid and Rotary to deliver this campaign across Scotland.”

Stuart Callison, Chief Executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, said: “We are delighted to be a partner in this campaign. Some of our volunteers have already been trained to measure blood pressure. It is our intention to train more volunteers to measure blood pressure and offer help and advice about stroke and the related risk factors, in order to spread the message that high blood pressure is a major risk to your health.”

John Barbour, District Governor of Rotary District 1020, said: “High blood pressure can impact enormously on someone’s life and can lead to a stroke.  Rotary is pleased to support the launch of the Know Your Blood Pressure Campaign in Scotland with the hope that by raising awareness we can perhaps save lives”.

Specsavers, the official sponsor of the Scottish FA match officials, has shown their continued support for referees in Scotland by donating £500 to the Know Your Blood Pressure campaign. Specsavers are entering into their tenth year in partnership with the Scottish FA match officials and are proud to support the Stroke Association at a time when health issues are particularly prominent within the football world.

Jim Quinn, the Scottish Chairman for Specsavers, commented: “Specsavers are delighted to be supporting such a worthy cause as the Stroke Association and particularly  the ‘Know Your Blood Pressure’ initiative. As the official optical and hearing partner for the Scottish FA match officials it is incredibly important to us that all Scottish FA referees have the best levels of care so that they can perform their duties on the pitch. It’s fantastic to see the referees of the forthcoming William Hill Scottish Cup Semi Finals being used as a vehicle to promote the charity and an issue that can affect everyone both inside and outside of football.”

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