On the 4th June, the defibshop team excitedly packed their bags and jetted off to Barcelona to celebrate the life of football legend Johan Cruyff as main sponsors of the Johan Cruyff Foundation Golf Memorial at el Montanya Golf Club.
The event was held in memory of Johan Cruyff who sadly died from cancer just over a year ago. The event’s main aim was to raise funds for the Johan Cruyff Foundation, a mission created by Johan himself, to encourage young people to be physically active and help children who need some extra support. This organisation was first established in 1997 and has since captured the hearts of many notable sporting icons including Ronald Koeman, Pep Guardiola and John Van’t Schip of whom all attended the event.
The Night Before...
On Sunday the 4th of June, Hotel Montanya hosted an evening dinner prior to the Golfing event which gave attendees the opportunity to meet before stepping onto the green. The evening consisted of classic Spanish dishes served buffet style, a live band and a speech made by defibshop Chief Executive David Howarth. Having studied Spanish for years, David was able to tell the attendees more about defibshop in the local language before debuting the “We Save Lives” video which presents a real-life story of a cardiac arrest victim who was saved by an AED distributed by defibshop.
The dinner ended late evening in preparation for an early welcome breakfast at el Montaya Golf Club at 9am where the celebrities, golfing professionals, and enthusiasts met to fuel up before tee off at 11:30am.
The Main Event
The tournament consisted of 20 teams of four, two of which being a celebrity and pro golfer. As the main sponsor, defibshop Chief Executive David Howarth and company friend Neil Warner played alongside Manchester City FC manager and close friend of Cruyff, Pep Guardiola and Pro-golfer Rafa Gallardo.
Taking on the 18-hole course which spanned over 6,000 meters, the teams shared just over 4 hours of quality golfing time together in one of Spain’s most idyllic settings. The event not only gave the players the opportunity to work on their swing but to play tribute to one of Johan’s favourite courses whilst sharing memories and ideas with like-minded attendees. You can catch some of the video highlights over on our YouTube channel!
Standing proudly on route to the first tee was the latest in AED innovation, the Lifepak CR2. Positioned by defibshop using one of our newly designed totems to help protect the event, we were proud to help educate attendees on the importance of having a defibrillator readily available on the golf course, with pop-ups to advise on the statistics which surround SCA.
Finishing almost exactly on par with a score of 73, our commendable score was met with pats on the back, a team hug and a plentiful spread of classic Spanish tapas to reward the hungry golfers.
Other celebrities in attendance included Everton Manager Ronald Koeman, plus Miguel Angel Nadal and the director of Manchester City FC, Aitor "Txiki" Begiristain. Following the return of all golfing teams, the crowd was treated to a stand-up comedian as well as prizes for the most exceptional scores. High spirits were in abundance as all attendees mingled amongst themselves, talking fondly of the day’s events only stopping to listen to Jordi Cruyff’s passionate speech on his father and how they plan on honouring his wish with the Cruyff Foundation.
Jordi was instrumental in organising the event and spent a lot of time with defibshop’s Chief Executive David Howarth to strengthen the bond between both company and the Foundation.
Speaking on behalf of the company, Chief Executive David Howarth said: "To be the main sponsor of the Johan Cruyff Foundation Golf Memorial was very special for us; not only was he celebrated for his skills on and off the pitch but as also a philanthropic figure who worked tirelessly to support and encourage children in sports.
With our charity in the UK Hand on Heart, we support children in schools and sports with defibrillators to keep them Heartsafe so we fully support the Johan Cruyff Foundation and their aims. Speaking to like-minded individuals such as Pep Guardiola and Jordi Cruyff about the importance of the foundation was an enriching experience and we look forward to the future together.”
A Growing Friendship
The event gave defibshop the opportunity to be a part of history and to highlight the need for more accessible AEDs with individuals poignant in the sporting industry. Athletes are at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest, which is why highlighting the need for their presence in every sports club, football stadium and golf club is a mission close to our heart.
We feel privileged to be a part of an event with such a positive and meaningful goal. We look forward to hopefully working together with the Cruyff Foundation in the future to help children in sport and to continue to spread awareness of the growing need of public access to life-saving defibrillators to help save lives both on and off the green.
Want to see more on this event? You can view the full album where our handy photographer captured the highlights of the event over on our Facebook page; you can also tune into our Twitter and Instagram pages for more updates on our experience.