Safety no walk in the park

2017-02-14 10:29
Catch People’s Post photographer Rashied Isaacs at the Peninsula half marathon on Sunday when he will be raising awareness of the safety of players and spectators on community sport fields.

Catch People’s Post photographer Rashied Isaacs at the Peninsula half marathon on Sunday when he will be raising awareness of the safety of players and spectators on community sport fields.

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From behind the lens into the front line: This is where Rashied Isaacs will be taking an awareness campaign not often addressed.

Thousands flock to sport fields across the peninsula every weekend to either participate in or support community sport clubs. However, far too often injuries occur without there being adequate medical help nearby.

Isaacs will be taking part in the Peninsula 21km half-marathon on Sunday in an effort to raise awareness of safety at local sport fields.

“I am going to attempt my third 21km, but it is not about me, it is about getting the message across. I am partnering with the newspaper that I love and we are going to promote this awareness about safer sport fields,” he says.

Isaacs, known to many local sport fans as “Mr People’s Post”, is a freelance sports photographer for the newspaper and has even based his studies on the common occurrence he has witnessed week after week.

“Being with People’s Post, I am honoured to go to many of the sporting areas; I see it every week where there is no first aid, no traffic plans, so people park where they want to and that makes it difficult for the emergency services to come through and do their work. There is a total disregard for emergency care.

“You will see the coach run up with a bottle of water or ice to put onto a fracture, things like that. I have seen that because they are not medically trained in basic first aid, they are falling short.

“What is sad is they miss the crucial things in the signs and symptoms, especially in contact sport like rugby where head injuries are prevalent. Now what happens is that when there are no medical personnel around and you can’t see these signs and symptoms, you tell the boy to go back onto the field to play and tomorrow he might not wake up. These are all things which I have experienced,” explains Isaacs.

He started investigating the issue around 18 months ago when he started his research, which he says combines his two favourite things, emergency preparedness and photography.

“With my research I have established a problem on our sport fields. Not enough effort is put into keeping the players safe on the field. Many times I have put my camera down to assist and people are amazed, but it is only because I have the training,” he says.

He hopes that his campaign creates greater dialogue between all roleplayers.

“Attitudes need to change first. We must first recognise that we have a problem – the problem is that we are so caught up in other issues that we forget that the players on the field are the most important component. So we must look at changing that, educating ourselves, but other bodies need to come on board as well,” says Isaacs.

He urges companies and those with practical expertise to come forward in an effort to bridge the gap.

“It’s not about me; it is for people to come out and support the idea and encourage me to finish and hopefully I will bring back the medal. I am sure the medal will not only be for me, but for those guys who have lost their lives on the community sport fields.

“As much as I love the newspaper, I also love community sport and that is why I am doing this. I can only imagine that if my kids play there, I want them to be safe and the same thing must apply to everyone else as well.”

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