The chairman of Aberavon Rugby Football Club took a wintry ice-cold sea dip to raise money for the South West Wales Cancer Centre at Singleton Hospital – as a thank you for the care given to some of the club’s supporters.
Pictured above (left to right) Cathy Stevens, Swansea Bay Health Charity’s fundraising officer, Tony Phillips, supporter, and Aberavon RFC chairman Andrew John.
Andrew John headed to Aberavon Beach before his Christmas day turkey dinner to brave the freezing waves and raise money for the Swansea Bay Health Charity - which supports NHS fundraising in Swansea Bay, including cancer services.
Members of the rugby club, known as The Wizards, also held a quiz in the Talbot Athletic Ground’s clubhouse and raised £200 to donate to the cause.
The final result saw Mr John present a cheque for £1,000 to the health board’s official charity on behalf of the club before its recent game against Pontypridd.
Mr John said: “I’m not a keen swimmer so it certainly isn’t something that I’ve done before. It was just a matter of a quick dip and then straight out for a quick swig of rum and back home.”
When asked how the swim went he replied: “The polite response is… it was cold!”
Explaining his motivation, Mr John said: “There’s a number of supporters within the club who have had treatment for cancer in the hospital over the last couple of years and so I just wanted to support them more than anything.
“It was all a bit last minute but we plan to be better organised next year. Hopefully we can get more people form the club to join in – including some of the players – and raise more money.”
Lifelong Aberavon supporter, Tony Phillips, who has received treatment himself for cancer, said: “Our chairman took a dip in the sea on Christmas Day to collect money for the charity.
“I wanted to go in myself but I was little bit nervous – it freezes you from your toes up!”
Mr Phillips, aged 76, has raised over £20,000 for cancer over the years through organising various events.
He said: “What they did was amazing. When I was in the chemo clinic, every 10 minutes there was a cup of tea, chocolates and sandwiches coming, whatever you wanted. It was all free of charge.”
Cathy Stevens, Swansea Bay Health Charity’s fundraising officer, said:
“Thank you to Andrew and everyone who supported him on his Christmas Day sea swim.
“This incredible donation will make a huge difference to patients and staff at the South West Wales Cancer Centre in making patients stay more comfortable, purchasing specialised equipment and any training required for equipment.”
Are you interested in raising money to support NHS services in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot? Did you know that Swansea Bay University Health Board has its own fundraising charity?
Swansea Bay Health Charity supports patients, staff and services within Swansea Bay University Health Board. Visit its webpage here to find out more.
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