photo credit: Oscar Espino
Former University of Connecticut Husky and WNBA All-Star Tina Charles has teamed up with Safe Kids Worldwide to promote sports safety. Charles’s Hopey’s Heart Foundation aims to share sports-injury preventative measures and increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest. In addition to providing sports safety education, Hopey’s Heart donates AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to schools, youth groups and teams, and community recreation centers around the country.
“Every year, 1.35 million children are seen in emergency departments for sports-related injuries,” says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “We know with a few simple steps we can keep our young athletes healthy, active and playing the games they love.”
A clinic with Safe Kids Worldwide was held last Saturday in Pembroke Pines, Fla. More than 300 local youth athletes, coaches and parents attended to learn about safety issues such as concussions, overuse injuries, the importance of pre-participation exams and being prepared with CPR, first aid and AED. Check out some photos below, which Charles posted on her Twitter feed.
Charles started the foundation and its AED grant program after her aunt, Maureen “Hopey” Vaz, died in 2013 of multiple organ failure. Charles is also currently involved in building a school in Ganali, Mali, to accommodate up to 150 elementary school children during the day and adult literacy classes in the evening. Her commitment to education does not stop there. Charles personally aims to fund three four-year secondary school scholarships for girls in Africa through Connect to Learn, a global initiative committed to helping educate children in impoverished areas.
STACK interviewed Charles early last year about her charity efforts, as well as her dedication to basketball and development as a player.