Hampshire rugby players walk from Twickenham to Portsmouth to support fight against cancer

SEVENTEEN selfless rugby players and supporters walked 71 miles from Twickenham to Canoe Lake in Portsmouth to raise thousands of pounds to support rugby players with cancer and their families.

By Neil Fatkin
Sunday, 16th August 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th August 2020, 7:55 pm
Rugby players and supporters from different clubs across the area took part in the Rugby Against Cancer walk from Twickenham to Canoe Lake in Southsea.

Picture: Keith Woodland
Rugby players and supporters from different clubs across the area took part in the Rugby Against Cancer walk from Twickenham to Canoe Lake in Southsea. Picture: Keith Woodland

The money will be used to provide enjoyable excursions, medical support and respite care for families dealing with the challenges of living with cancer. Fifty per cent of the money raised will also be used to support the charity Breast Cancer Now – a national charity researching pioneering treatments into the disease.

The event, which has so far raised nearly £15,000, was organised by the charity, Rugby Against Cancer, which was set up by Portsmouth Rugby Club player, Aaron Beesley, 32.

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The walkers enjoy a cooling dip at the end of their walk. Picture: Keith Woodland

Aaron, who works as a sales consultant for a waste management company, said: ‘We wanted to support rugby players and their families. This weekend we have arranged for one person with a cancer diagnosis to have a weekend holiday with his daughter.

‘We also want to donate some of the money to charities which can support research into the disease’

The group set off from Twickenham at 11am on Friday morning before arriving in Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.

Aaron added: ‘It was really tough and we had the threat of thunderstorms.’

The walkers trekked through the night before enjoying a free breakfast at Cloisters Continental Cafe in Petersfield.

Aaron decided to set up the charity in 2018 to initially support two local rugby players who were battling cancer. The pair have unfortunately now passed away.

Aaron said: ‘It started with a charity rugby match which raised £8,400. We then had the Twickenham walk last year which was supposed to take place again this year in May for the Premiership final.

‘As soon as lockdown restrictions were eased we wanted to ensure we still did the walk.’

Aaron is hoping to raise at least £17,500 through the charity's GoFundMe page which can be accessed via the Rugby Against Cancer website.

Details are also available as to how families suffering from cancer can gain support.

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