Doctors at Queen Alexandra Hospital will swap their surgical kits for rugby ones when they compete against Portsmouth Rugby Football Club in a charity match.
The Hope Cup is a new joint venture between QA and Portsmouth Rugby Football Club, which will see money raised by both sides for a charity in Portsmouth every year. The name came from QA liaison nurse Ian Douglas who said: ‘Everyone needs a bit of hope in their lives.
‘It’s important to set up base for local charities and we hope we can get a large turnout of people watching the match to not only raise money, but also raise awareness for the charity.’
The charity this year is Portsmouth Down’s Syndrome Association, which provides specialist services for people with downs syndrome and their families.
Association chairwoman Rachael Ross said: ‘We are thrilled to have been selected as the first charity to benefit from the club’s charity match – it’s an honour. We don’t know what the money will be spent on as yet, but it’s more than likely to go towards the early development for pre-school children to help them reach their developmental milestones.’
People can watch the free event at the club’s ground tomorrow in Norway Road at midday and the two teams promise a fiery match.
Players at the club are promising that they are treating the game just as they would any regular league fixture.
The club’s head coach Graham Street said: ‘Although it’s a charity game and it’s for fun, I don’t plan on the hospital winning.’
Ian said: ‘It’s going to be closely contested since the club are fielding a first team, but we’re ready for the challenge. We haven’t been training, but we’re all hard rugby players we know what we’re doing.’