Rugby community and Sharp’s Brewery pitched together for vital cancer charity

By Sharp's Brewery - 16th March 2020

Rugby Against Cancer 19 - 10 Sharp’s Doom Barbarians

In the lead up to Testicular Cancer Awareness Month in April 2020, Cornwall’s Sharp’s Brewery joined forces with Rugby Against Cancer for a fundraising opportunity. The charity rugby match saw the Sharp’s Brewery ‘Doom Barbarians’ go head to head against the Rugby Against Cancer squad, resulting in a victorious win for the Rugby Against Cancer team and over £1,800 for south-west testicular cancer charity ‘It’s in the Bag’.

The Friday night match kicked off at 7.30pm on Friday 13th March at Wadebridge RFC, with the first half starting brightly for both finishing off with a draw. As the game went on, despite the heavy rain, the Rugby Against Cancer team took the lead and after a tense play-off, full time concluded with two very muddy teams and a result of 19-10 with the Rugby Against Cancer team taking the title of champions.

This match was unique in that the Rugby Against Cancer team is made up of passionate players who have all had their own personal battles with cancer, either having suffered directly or via family members. The team’s inspirational captain Shaun Ivall-East who is from Braunton, North Devon was unfortunately diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2018 at the age of just 24. Throughout this challenging journey, he was supported by ‘It’s in the bag’. Now thankfully in remission, and in light of his battle he is keen to give something back and unite people through the love of rugby.

After the game, both teams united with some much-deserved post-match curry from Rick Steins and a pint of Doom Bar where the auction took place with brilliant and entertaining auctioneer, Ross Collins of Lodge & Thomas. Some amazing prizes were purchased on the night including which were kindly donated by Exeter Chiefs, the Cornish Pirates and Sharp’s Brewery.  

Sharp’s Brewery has, throughout its history, been committed to supporting local Cornish rugby clubs through its cult brew, Doom Bar, and today sponsors 10 rugby clubs in its home county. Rugby Against Cancer, set up by Aaron Beesley in 2018, is an organisation that uses the power of rugby to raise money for local and national cancer charities through a series of events such as charity rugby matches, tournaments and local fun days. 

‘It’s in the Bag’ is a south west based charity, that provides hands-on support for men with testicular cancer in the region, as well as raising awareness of the disease.

RAC captain, Shaun Ivall-East said, “It’s in the bag is a charity that is particularly close to my heart. When I received my diagnosis back in 2018, I was naturally devastated and in complete shock. It’s in the bag helped me and my family in many ways. They gave us financial support in a time of need, plenty of emotional support both for me, my wife and children. I have also attended some workshops run by the charity which have helped me to understand how to deal with my diagnosis. 

I have always loved rugby and my passion for the game was one of the factors that’s really helped me get through those dark days. It’s in the bag supported me right from my diagnosis and continued I do so now and I am delighted to now be well enough to give something back. This particular match was so much fun and we are delighted to have raised money for It’s in the Bag so they can help more people like me. Thank you to everyone who got involved in this event, whether it was from volunteering, supporting or playing.”

James Nicholls, marketing controller at Sharp’s Brewery said, “It’s fantastic that we can come together on the pitch for such a hugely important cause. It was great to see lots of people out at the match showing their support on the evening. The rugby community is truly amazing and the efforts of Rugby Against Cancer demonstrates how it pulls together to help others in need.”

For more information on Rugby Against Cancer or any of its upcoming events, please visit: https://rugbyagainstcancer.com/ or email [email protected]. To read more about It’s in the Bag and its work in the fight against testicular cancer, see:http://itsinthebag.org.uk/.

It’s fantastic that we can come together on the pitch for such a hugely important cause.

- James Nicholls, Sharp’s Brewery
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