Oswestry Rugby Club has proved once again that no challenge is too big as it aims to raise more than £30,000 for two cancer charities.

The club’s Ruck Over Cancer fundraiser is off to a great start with more than £8,500 raised for Prostate Cancer UK and Breast Cancer UK.

Launched in February, the idea of the challenge was to raise funds for the two cancer charities after the club’s president and two parents of members of the club were diagnosed with cancer within the space of six months.

Martin Ord, club president, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, while parents Liz Johnson and Theresa Moore were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Liz’s husband, Stewart, coaches at the club and the pair have three children who also play at the club – he will be taking on a marathon to raise funds for Breast Cancer UK.

He said: “We wanted to show our support for those who are helping them.

“The momentum we have got is really good and positive. I think while we’ve been in lockdown, we’ve needed a distraction – this worthy cause is one of those.”

As part of the Ruck Over Cancer, two teams of men and women will compete against each other in a challenge of speed and endurance.

Families, friends, players and coaches of the club are taking on an Ironman Challenge to raise money.

Individuals either swimming 2.4 miles, running 26.2 miles and cycling 112 miles on September 19, 2021.

Liz hopes the challenge can help to raise awareness and improve early detection of breast cancer.

She said: “I got diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2020. A small tumour was picked up on a routine scan, I had no idea that anything was wrong.

“I was extremely fortunate to get the cancer caught early, I had to have quite a large operation to remove the tumour and thankfully the early diagnosis meant no further treatment was required.

“The doctors and nurses that looked after me were amazing, I can never thank them enough for effectively saving my life.”

Theresa, whose son plays rugby in the same age group as Liz’s son, said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2020, this changed my family’s world.

“Fears, loneliness, whys, what ifs and shock are just a few of the daily emotions I have felt, but the love, help, support and prayers from family and friends has a been blessing.

“From July to mid-December I have been to the hospital weekly, sometimes daily, during this time I have had two surgeries and four weeks of daily radiotherapy.

“The NHS deserve a huge thank you, whilst dealing with a global pandemic they have been supportive, caring and kind to my family and I, as we faced a new unknown each day.

“I am so proud of our rugby club, being part of raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer UK and Prostate Cancer UK.”

Martin said the challenge will be emotional but says the importance of raising awareness can not be understated.

He said: “I have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have been touched by the support of everyone connected with our amazing club at Oswestry.

“My son Spencer, Grandson Ben and I decided to take on the ‘Ruck Over Cancer’, Ironman Challenge for Prostate Cancer UK to help raise awareness and raise much needed money in the battle with this horrible disease.“This is going to be a huge challenge and it will be an emotional day for us, but if we manage to help save just one life by raising awareness or, monies raised support the development of testing methods for the early detection of prostate cancer, all of the effort will be worth it.”

Gabriella Bailey, head of community fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, praised the club for its fundraising efforts.

She said: “We’re so grateful that Oswestry Rugby Club has decided to organise the Ruck Over Cancer, Ironman Challenge to help raise vital funds for both Prostate Cancer UK and Breast Cancer UK.”

“The money raised will help us fund research for real change, from more effective testing to better treatments.

“We thank Martin Ord; and the other members of his team for joining the fight and wish them every success with their challenge.”

Thalie Martini, CEO of Breast Cancer UK, added: “Wow, what a challenge! And that they’re raising this incredible amount of money for these two important charities this will make such an impact. “The money the women and men of Oswestry Rugby Club raise will help us work towards reducing the number of women who will suffer the devastating impact of being diagnosed with this terrible disease, along with the pain it brings to their families and friends.” Together we can prevent breast cancer.”

To help Oswestry Rugby Club continue to raise money, visit https://www.justgiving.com/team/oswestry-rugby-club-ruck-over-cancer and https://www.justgiving.com/team/oswestry-rugby-club-ruck-over-cancer-for-prostate