Nottingham rugby stars meet local fans in support of charity fundraiser

Nottingham Rugby club stars Craig Hammond, David Jackson, Finlay Barnham, James Arlidge and Kieran Hallett met local rugby fans Joseph and Mark Cooper yesterday in support of CLIC Sargent’s Kick! campaign.

Twelve-year-old Joseph was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer, in January 2008 and underwent chemotherapy treatment, before relapsing and being diagnosed with leukaemia in December 2010. The Cooper family, including dad Mark, who was also diagnosed with cancer when he was in his mid-twenties, have been provided with emotional and practical support from the children and young people’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.

Craig Hammond, Nottingham Rugby’s club captain, said: “We had a really great time meeting the Cooper family and sharing some of our top rugby tips with Joseph. We’re delighted to continue our support for a charity that has made such a huge difference to Mark, Joseph and mum Tracy’s lives and we want to encourage people across Nottingham to show their support in any way that they can. From taking part in a fundraising event like Kick!, to making a one-off donation, every penny makes a real difference.”

Mark Cooper, from Castle Donington, who used to play rugby for Derby, said: “We had a fantastic day with the players, Joseph had a scrum down and we all just had a laugh. It was a great opportunity to talk about the support that CLIC Sargent has provided us and the players really got involved and even offered us some tickets for the Sunday game! Joseph and I really love rugby so we were over the moon to get the opportunity to meet the professionals.”

CLIC Sargent fund a team of care professionals based at Queen’s Medical Centre who provide emotional and practical support for families affected by childhood cancer, from the point of diagnosis. The charity also runs Billy’s House in Nottingham, one of CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home, which provides families with free accommodation close to hospital.

Kick! is a fun football fundraising event for children and young people of all ages and abilities. More than 641,000 children have taken part in Kick! since the campaign launched in 2005 and over £960,000 has been raised to help children and young people with cancer, and their families, to date. Registration is now open for this year’s campaign with schools and youth football clubs encouraged to hold events between March and July 2012.

Noemie Salvaudon, CLIC Sargent Event Fundraising Manager, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to Craig, David, Finlay, James and Kieran and Nottingham Rugby Club for continuing to support the Kick! campaign and CLIC Sargent. Lack of funds means that CLIC Sargent can only help two out of three children and young people with cancer - that’s why support like this really makes a difference.”