Premiership rugby players including Ugo Monye, Danny Care and
Tim Payne are backing a new campaign to raise awareness of prostate
cancer this season.
Prostate cancer will be one cause that's close to the player's
mouths, as well as their hearts, when they don 'The Blue' - a
custom fit mouthguard, which for the first time will display The
Prostate Cancer Charity's distinctive blue man logo, instead of the
traditional white club mouthguards.
The initiative, launched in association with leading mouthguard
manufacturer OPRO, will be unveiled on Saturday 3 September, when
the 2011/12 AVIVA Premiership season officially kicks off at
Twickenham. The London double header will see Saracens take on
Wasps and London Irish up against Harlequins.
Ugo Monye who plays for Harlequins explains: "Blokes spend so
much time on going to the gym and looking good but we don't always
pay such close attention to our health. With an issue like prostate
cancer, which if caught early can be treated successfully, it is
really important that we do keep an eye on things."
Ugo adds: "I didn't know that African Caribbean men are three
times* more likely to develop the disease than white men - it
really is something that we need to think about."
Harlequins' Danny Care, said: "Any man over the age of 50 needs
to be particularly aware of prostate cancer. I would encourage all
men concerned about the disease to face their fears and go and see
their GP, or perhaps call The Prostate Cancer Charity's Helpline to
find out more. It is time to put yourself, and your health,
It's not only the pros who will be able to wear 'The Blue'. Fans
can back the move and help raise funds by ordering their very own
'The Blue'. Custom fit and OPROshield self fit versions
are available for pre-order from our website
The custom fit mouthguard will retail at between £51.45 and £59.95
(depending on level of protection), the self fit version costs
£19.99, with £1 from every OPROshield and £6 from every
custom fit mouthguard donated to The Prostate Cancer Charity.
Tim Payne, who plays for Wasps, said: "I hope all our fans out
there will show their support for this important cause by donning
'The Blue' this season. But if you prefer to watch from the stands,
you can still support the campaign by making sure you're aware of
prostate cancer and some of the possible signs and symptoms to look
out for. Too many men are affected by this disease so let's
confront this together."
As well as key players backing the 'The Blue' this season, the
move has also been endorsed by the Rugby Players Association (RPA)
who are encouraging other players to show their support and raise
awareness of a disease that affects more than 250,000 men in the
Damian Hopley, CEO of the RPA said: "This is a fantastic
opportunity for the RPA members to help raise awareness of prostate
cancer. By using the player's profile to help promote the key
messages, we can take a significant step towards men thinking more
seriously about the disease and the potential consequences if they
don't have regular check-ups. It is estimated that 1 in 9 men will
develop prostate cancer so, by backing The Prostate Cancer
Charity's campaign, we are hoping to convince fans to confront the
issue rather than shy away from it."
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity said:
"It is fantastic to see the world of rugby getting together to help
tackle such an important men's health issue. Despite being the most
common cancer in men, it remains a disease that many men can be
reluctant to confront. We must challenge this reluctance so that we
can begin to reduce the number of men dying from this disease every
year. We are excited to be getting information to men about this
disease through the rugby pitch - and what better way than to hear
it, or should I say see it from the mouths of top players."
*Things have changed since this was published. Find