Durham University Rugby raises £26,250 for charity

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Durham University Rugby Football Club (DURFC) have raised an impressive £26,250 for charity since the start of this academic year. The club have fundraised through numerous charity matches which have been well supported by the students at Durham. These matches have raised money for organisations including Teenage Cancer Trust and Sport in Action and have put the team well on track to reach their goal of £50,000 by the end of the academic year.

blOKes is one charity included in those the club have supported this year. blOKes raises awareness for men’s mental health, creates a safe space for men to talk, and champions the increase of funding to the cause. Club captain, Rhys Belcher, told Palatinate about the significance of men’s mental health to DURFC, a club whose members often find themselves under a great deal of pressure. “We support each other on-an-off the pitch, it’s quite a special thing and we know that not all men are so lucky to have that culture.

“The world is a very connected place, but it is also an increasingly lonely place and if we can do a little bit to support that getting better, then we will.”

DURFC have also taken part in Movember, raising money and awareness for men’s physical and mental health. The team have already raised over £5,000 and are confident they will meet their goal of £10,000.

Belcher was quick to credit the Committee, social media team, and his fellow teammates for the success the club have found this year in fundraising. He also gave credit to the students at Durham who have backed the club at every opportunity. “They have been fantastic at supporting us this year, attending our charity matches and just really buying into what we are doing.”

“We are trying to be the best we can be.”

RHys Belcher, DURFC captain

The club have fundraised for charity in previous years but have been particularly active this year. The club is planning to take up a collection for Durham Foodbank and is looking to sign up team members to donate blood. Belcher told Palatinate: “Rugby clubs have had slightly negative media in recent times, but we want everyone to see that we do a lot of good” and that “we are trying to be the best we can be.”

The success of charitable outreach is also present in college sport. Hatfield Rugby Club have raised over £2000 this academic year, a combined total from events including their Movember floodlit match. The club are well on their way to meet their goal of £7,000 by the end of the month, the second highest amount of money raised from a university society, behind only DURFC. The club have supported Movember for several years and have acknowledged its particular importance this year due to “the toll of Covid and lockdown” on men’s mental health.

The next DURFC charity match is schedule December 1st 6:30pm against Cardiff Met. The match will be in aid of Hire a Hero, a charity that supports veterans in their transition to civilian life. Tickets will be sold in the upcoming week to support this.

Image: DURFC

Image: DURFC

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