K rock Football

Ambassador role for Keast

St Mary’s co-coach Glenn Keast. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

LESS than two months after twice suffering a cardiac arrest, local football great Glenn Keast is helping to spread the men’s health message.

The St Mary’s co-coach has taken on a role as an ambassador for the Barwon Health Foundation’s Father’s Day Project.

Keast suffered two cardiac arrests on his 50th birthday on May 30, with the first coming while taking Saints training at Anthony Costa Oval.

“It wasn’t something I probably planned on doing, but once the phone call came through, that was an easy ‘yes’ to raise awareness,” he said of the role.

“Whether it’s just creating that interest in the community but also things like making sure all clubs have got their defibs (defibrillators) set up and working,”

“Whether it’s going and doing a proper first-aid course or things like that. It might be a moment in your life that you’re not making it up as you go along, but you’ve got something to fall back on. You might just save somebody’s life.

“I think it’s a pretty fantastic message; if I can be involved in and support, I’m more than happy to do that.”

GFL: GLENN’S ROAD TO RECOVERY

Supporting heart health is an area of concern for the Barwon Health Foundation, according to executive director Zoe Waters.

“As Victoria manages an upturn in COVID-19 cases across the state, the reality is that men will continue to have heart attacks, be diagnosed with cancer and need support with mental health,” she said.

“All three of these are leading causes of mortality and morbidity right here in Greater Geelong.”

Adding further poignancy to Keast’s role is the fact that he lost his father when he was just 27.

“As a father, I was extremely emotional in hospital at times when I thought about my entire family, and especially my children,” he said.

“I lost my dad in a truck accident at 27 years of age, which was traumatic and it was hard not to consider the thought of the impact of me not being around would have on my young family.”

“Fatherhood is extremely important to me. Together with my wife Carolyn, we are very proud of our three children and the young adults they’ve become.”

“I know they supported Carolyn extremely well through my ordeal, and I thank them so much for that.

“Seeing my children grow into adults and realise their dreams and aspirations is massive, and I’m going to do everything I can to be around to support and guide them.”

To donate visit www.barwonhealthfoundation.org.au.

Twitter: @tom_king79