Words by Jack Parker
From Monday, Sussex’s very own Men’s Rugby team will be running non-stop for an entire week in aid of The Samaritans emergency appeal.
There are 51 members of the club partaking in this charitable event that will take place between the Brighton pier and the i360. It is undertaken as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the hard work of those in the Samaritans and the NHS who work around the clock to provide assistance to those that need it.
The Badger talked to the Vice-President of the Rugby Club, Fergus Hamilton-Jones, who explained why they are undertaking this particular challenge; “Whilst our week of effort pales in comparison to the work of the NHS and helplines over the course of the pandemic, it is our way of showing our appreciation.” Ultimately, the men of the university rugby club will be visible on the seafront the entire week.
This isn’t the first time that the University of Sussex Rugby club has showed up to run for charity. With the men’s team contributing 55 runners and £12,602.58, and the women’s team contributing 9 runners and £700 they raised a combined total of £13,302.58 for charity during the 2020 Brighton Half marathon.
The Club are undertaking this challenge to support the Samaritans who have been massively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. The Samaritans provide, amongst other things, 24/7 call lines that provide a non-judgemental ear with the purpose of suicide prevention.
In 2019, the Samaritans received a call on average every 7 seconds. This figure is undoubtedly higher in the midst of the pandemic, with isolation disrupting the status quo and leaving many stranded, this landline is a lifeline. The charity has declared an emergency appeal for funding, the increased number of calls is putting the charity under immense pressure. One phone call costs £5 to receive and the rugby club aims to raise £7,500 to help this cause.
Adorned in green tutus the men of Sussex University Rugby will be a constant presence on the Brighton sea front for the entire week beginning 1March, keep an eye out for them and give them a wave!
Picture Credit: Jvhertum