Castleford rugby ladies aiming to tackle cervical cancer

Castleford RUFC’s newly created ladies team have announced that they are partnering #THESMEARCAMPAIGN to help raise awareness of cervical cancer and to stress the importance of women having precautionary smear tests.

Charity partners: Castleford Rugby Union Ladies, who are teaming up with a worthwhile cause in their first season.
Charity partners: Castleford Rugby Union Ladies, who are teaming up with a worthwhile cause in their first season.

The Whitwood-based side for women aged 18 and over is set to be up and running for the 2021-22 season, beginning in September.

The fully inclusive team were keen to help a charitable cause associated with women’s health and had no hesitation in adopting #THESMEARCAMPAIGN – organised by Chris Hopkins after the loss of his son’s dear mother to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the need to have a smear test.

He expressed his delight at the support given by the club’s women, saying: “Cervical cancer has impacted mine and my son’s life and I don’t want any other children to go through what my son is going through.

“It’s great that Castleford RUFC Ladies have joined our campaign as the bigger we get, the bigger the impact we will have. “We started the campaign to raise money to form a charity and thankfully we are well into the process with the Charity Commission.

“As part of the charity we will be creating a fund to support those impacted by cervical cancer and to start Marie’s Wish, helping women who have been given the worst news, to have that last wish come true.

Player Lauren Hunter, the daughter of Castleford RUFC’s well respected former captain from the 1990s, Ricky Hunter, and player with WSL’s York City Knights, is also an ambassador of #THESMEARCAMPAIGN. She said: “I know that this is a great campaign as we don’t want children to lose their mothers when 99.8% of cervical cancers are preventable. One in three women eligible for a free smear test under the NHS don’t attend and that has to change. “

Megan Owens, who chairs the team’s management group, added: “When we were discussing a charitable cause that the team should support there was unanimous backing for #THESMEARCAMPAIGN.

“Rather than putting the screening invitation letter to one side you’ve got to realise that for a five minutes-long procedure you can save your life.”

Oliver Arundel, Castleford RUFC Ladies’ team manager is pleased that the team have another target to aim for.

He said: “We’re a new team who want to enjoy our rugby and everyone’s company, but also supporting a great cause will help bind the players together.

“We will fundraise for them and help them raise awareness of cervical cancer.”