OBJECTIVE:Implementation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in community sports settings is an important component of emergency medical planning. This study aimed to understand motivations for why sports organizations participated in a government-funded program that provided AEDs and associated first-aid training. DESIGN:Face-to-face interviews. SETTING:Community sports organizations in Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS:Representatives from 14 organizations who participated in a government-funded AED program. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Motivations to participate in the AED program were explored using a qualitative descriptive approach. RESULTS:Two overarching themes emerged: awareness of the program and decision to apply. Awareness was gained indirectly through grant advertising in newsletters/emails/web sites and directly through their sporting associations. For most organizations, there was no decision process per se, rather, the opportunity to apply was the key determinant for participating in the program. A duty of care also emerged as a key driving factor, with recognition of AEDs as a valuable asset to communities broadly, not just the participants' immediate sports setting. Reflecting on participation in the program, these participants identified that it was important to increase awareness about AED ownership and use. The program benefits were clearly summed up as being best prepared for a worst-case scenario. DISCUSSION:This study provides new understanding of why community sports organizations apply for an AED and training. The strongest reason was simply the opportunity to acquire this at no cost. Therefore, for wider implementation of AEDs, additional funding opportunities, targeted awareness of these opportunities, and continued promotion of AED importance are recommended.