Hockey officials urged to donate for Blood Challenge

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Hockey Australia is calling on all hockey umpires/officials to roll their sleeves up and get involved in the 2020 Umpires Blood Challenge.

A Hockey Australia Lifeblood Team has been established for the national challenge and initiative being run by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

The challenge, which started on 1 March and runs up until 30 September 2020, is designed to encourage members of different umpiring associations across the country to donate blood and see who can help save the most lives. Blood and plasma donations help Australians when they need it most.

CLICK HERE to get involved or see full details below.

Leading the charge from the hockey fraternity is highly experienced Technical Official Nicola Ogden.

Nicola Ogden at her local donor centre.

Having held down numerous leadership positions at major international Masters events, Ogden is a regular blood donor whenever she is not overseas fulfilling her duties as a technical official.

The decision and reason to regularly donate blood or plasma was a simple one for Ogden, who feels fortunate to be in a position to contribute and give to the community and those in need.

“It (giving blood) is pretty easy. I know people who have had health issues and have needed blood products to help them heal. It takes just under an hour out of your day to do a plasma donation and even less for whole blood, so if it goes to help other people’s lives then I’m happy to do it,” said Ogden.

“When you realise you’re in a fortunate position that you can actually do something to help other people, you kind of feel morally obligated to give it a go.”

“In these uncertain times with COVID-19, the blood bank is one of the safest places you can go and do something that gives back to your community because they’re super diligent about cleanliness, hygiene and disinfecting.”

“The bottom line for me is that I’ve known a lot of people who have had various illnesses over time and if I can give an hour out of my day once a fortnight to give something back to help people have a better quality of life, then why not. It’s just a big positive.”

Whole blood donations can be done every three months but anyone donating plasma can give fortnightly.

Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier is proud that the country’s national hockey body is able to support and promote the initiative.

“The importance and work of the Red Cross Blood Service and people who donate is vital at the best of times, but arguably even more so at the moment in the current climate,” said Favier.

“This is also another way we can unite as a wider hockey community at a stage when associations and local leagues around the country would normally be in full swing.”

“While this is a challenge targeted at officials and umpires, we urge everyone to consider donating and helping to make a positive difference for those who really need it.”

“If you have ever considered giving blood or wanted to contribute to a worthwhile cause, this is an opportune time.”

Details of how to sign up to the Hockey Australia Lifeblood team and take part in the challenge are as follows…

How to get involved and make your donation count

  1. Simply register or join the Lifeblood Team – Hockey Australia Official to ensure your donation is added to the tally. You can join online, by calling 1300 886 524 or in the donor centre when donating – just ask the centre reception staff to join you to the group.
  1. Make a donation. Download the app, visit the website or call 13 14 95 to book an appointment from 1 March – 30 September (you can donate more than once during this period).

This isn’t a solo event — it will take a team to win.

Even if you can’t donate, you can still help!

Simply spread the word and let the team know that every time they donate, they can save up to three lives.

Points of note

  • This is a national challenge, so all officials across Australia can be involved.
  • It does not matter which donor centre you donate at.
  • You can donate as an individual or as a group.
  • You will need to book an appointment to donate (call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au).

You can see a tally of donations and track progress of the challenge by clicking here.