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It’s been a busy start to 2022

It’s been a busy start to the year for Rugby Against Cancer and we’ve been a hive of activity behind the scenes and in the public eye.

Rolling back to the start of 2022 we launched our first ever ‘Sock Day’, an idea that began with just one team, Portsmouth Rugby Club, to wear our socks for a fixture in January. This escalated quickly and over 1,000 pairs of Rugby Against Cancer’s brand new blue and pink rugby socks were worn by players and referees across Hampshire, Sussex and Cornwall including Worthing RFC, Portsmouth, Havant and Wadebridge Camels.

The initiative created further awareness about the important work we are doing as a charity, and to encourage those who need help to reach out for support who may not have known we existed before. Details for Sock Day 2023 will be released over summer for teams to get involved in our second sock campaign, we hope that more teams across more counties join in the day!

Rugby Against Cancer was invited to face London Welsh Select XV at their annual Six Nations event for the England v Wales fixture. Our team headed to Old Deer Park and started with a bang as we won our first match of the year 39-24 against the hosts. Success continued off the field as the support team spread awareness of the charity, rallied potential new players and raise nearly £1800 in donations.

Golf Day

We’re branching out in sports this year, and in March, eight golfers represented Rugby Against Cancer at the P3 Mortage Group golf day at Lee-on-the-Solent. P3 Mortgages are our current shirt sponsors on our very eye-catching Hawaiian playing shirt for the XVs.

Easter continued to be another crazy month for us; The Decider 2022, Easter Egg Drop and our new social campaign #TackleYourBalls all taking over April. Our socials have been non-stop and we have seen a huge increase in followers, shares and people reaching out to the charity.

RAC v Sid Street XV

We played the third installment of Rugby Against Cancer v Sid Street XV at Portsmouth Rugby Club on Good Friday – it was an occasion where win, lose or draw RAC was the winner!

RAC v Sid Street XV

After generous online donations of over £500, five hospitals across the UK received a delivery of Easter Eggs from our ambassadors and committee members.

* Queen Alexandra, Portsmouth – Sid Street (Trustee) and Yorkie (committee member)

* Royal University Hospital Bath – Kim Oliver (Ealing Trailfinders Academy Coach)

* St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey – Matt Williams (London Irish)

* Gloucestershire Hospital – Joe Batley (Worcester Warriors)

* Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital – Clara Nielson (Exeter Chiefs)

Hand delivered by the ambassadors, we were overwhelmed with the response from the staff and patients for the treats. The messages resonated with the smiles we hoped we would be sharing during this difficult time.

And on top of all that in April we launched our new campaign #TackleYourBalls for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness and reduce embarrassment surrounding this cancer.

We were sent plenty of photos and every day we managed to put a post out on our socials to keep the conversation going. A big thank you to everyone involved who sent in a photo, shared and for those who took the time to check their testicles – the aim of the campaign!

Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK every year but it can be curable if detected early, so keep tackling those balls gents!

And the final event to wrap up this summary is the Floodlit7s. And what an evening it was at Rosslyn Park Rugby Club. We felt incredibly privileged to be invited to the event and we are hugely proud of our players and a big thank you to Fred Pierrepont and Alex Davis for coming down to coach the team.

Reaching the final was a great accomplishment, and the team did it with somewhat ease after only meeting that evening. Unfortunately Rugby Against Cancer 7s were pipped at the final hurdle, with only 9 players taking to the field due to sustaining a few injuries, we were unable to fend off Ealing Trailfinders.

However, to come runners up in our first time at the tournament – we are still absolutely buzzing!

We still have some great events still to come for 2022! Check them out here and put a pencil in your diaries – we promise you they are great occasions to be involved with.

Outside of the events, we have had a plethora of fundraisers that have chosen our charity to raise money and awareness for, in a range of challenges. Our very own committee member, Cam Robertson, took on the 10,000 step challenge every day of February. Liam Perkins faced the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, all in 24 hours. Our Club Partner Tadley Tigers RFC held another bake sale at their Presentation Day raising over £200 with sweet treats.

The countdown continues until a team will scale 50 UK Peaks in 5 Days to raise money for Rugby Against Cancer and two other charities; Friends of Colnbrook and Building Heroes. Plus, Final Trek walker Abbie Moyse is organising another trek coast to coast, 70 miles in 30+hours non-stop in June. If her feet didn’t hurt already from last year’s challenge she’s taking on another physically demanding challenge to raise money for Rugby Against Cancer during Jubilee weekend.

All this fundraising is for one purpose: to give back and support those who are affected by cancer in the UK.

At the moment our support comes in the following ways; support kit bags, vouchers towards respite stays or memory experiences to help make things seem a little more normal in this challenging time and gives individuals an opportunity to rebuild confidence, treat themselves or spend time with loved ones away from treatments. We also offer grant donations towards bigger fundraising efforts, treatment or to help with the extra costs the cancer can cause.

Due to the sensitive nature of our charity we are receiving support requests but may not always be able to share with our followers what those may be. However, be safe in the knowledge that your generosity and help with Rugby Against Cancer is making a difference.

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