Screening laid on for youths at Yarrow Park

YOUNG athletes in the Borders are to be offered a heart screening test that can cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in sport.

A local health charity is appealing to sports clubs to become involved and send along young people to participate in the programme.

Selkirk-based Scottish HART has arranged a visit to the region early next month after arrangements for screening in the area had to be cancelled late last year due to the adverse weather conditions.

Just over two years ago the Scottish Government launched a cardiac screening programme for young athletes, (CAYA) in conjunction with the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Football Association.

The pilot programme uses ECG and ultrasound screening to try to identify whether young athletes are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

The condition, which can go undetected, each year results in the deaths of a number of otherwise healthy young athletes.

Local health campaigner Wilma Gunn, founder of Scottish HART, has arranged with Professor Stuart Hillis from the CAYA programme to bring his team of specialists to the Borders. Mrs Gunn’s eldest son Cameron died after playing five-a-side football and she has campaigned for a number of years to see a screening programme introduced.

Scottish HART has contacted local youth football and rugby teams, local athletics clubs, secondary schools and other groups involved in sports to inform them of this development and has organised the screening to take place on the afternoon of Sunday, March 6, at Selkirk Football Club’s Yarrow Park.

Mrs Gunn is appealing to any clubs, schools or groups based in the Borders interested in sending any players or athletes aged 15 or older along to the session to get in touch with the charity at