Ulster teenager wins top EuroHockey youth award

Dublin August 18: Anna Pim from Ulster yesterday received The Youth Leader Award for her EuroHockey Youth Festival project at the EHF Youth Forum in Monchengladbach. Anna was nominated by Hockey Ireland as their female delegate and presented to the 35th General Assembly of the European Hockey Federation.

The 18-year-old schoolgirl founded ‘at the Heart of the Game’, an education programme to deliver CPR and AED awareness to hockey clubs throughout Northern Ireland.

During lockdown she combined her love for hockey and her interest in St John Ambulance to create her ‘at the Heart of the Game’ initiative, educating over 300 young people in CPR and AED awareness to hockey clubs throughout Northern Ireland since.  

Ulster Hockey said,

“The impact that this project is having on the Ulster Hockey family is immeasurable and has the potential to save lives within our clubs and the wider community. The feedback from clubs who have been involved is extremely positive. The demand from other clubs is high and the interest from other sports governing bodies is significant.”

Anna picked up the top EuroHockey award as she demonstrated her ability to create, plan, prepare and deliver a major project.

Lady Mary Peters, an Ambassador for ‘At the Heart of the Game’ said,

“It is a life-saving opportunity for the sports community in Northern Ireland.  It is wonderful to see how sport can be harnessed as a tool through which to educate young people on important issues such as CPR and defibrillator use.” 

Anna is making a huge impact in Ulster Hockey through coaching, volunteering, playing and her education programme. She is a significant role model for the youth. With the increasing number of cardiac arrests being reported within the sporting community at matches, training and in the clubhouse, Anna has empowered young people to know how to confidently help if someone has a cardiac arrest.  She is teaching skills to them to unlock their full potential. No better way than to teach them something that will someday save a life of a teammate, family member or friend.

Through her partnership with Belfast City Airport and the kind donations from hockey clubs, schools, and individuals Anna has also raised enough money to provide AED trainers into St John Ambulance cadet divisions within these club areas.  ‘At the Heart of the Game’ has exceeded all expectations in raising awareness of CPR and AED.  The media attention has placed the importance of these lifesaving skills to the forefront of people’s minds.  From BBC Newsline to Foyle Radio, front page of the Belfast Telegraph to ‘At the Heart of the Game’ Twitter and Instagram and much, much, more, Anna has been the face of this fantastic project.