Working with local NHS to target bowel, lung and prostate cancers at Yorkshire derbies this season.Doncaster Rovers fans are being urged to close mark three opponents which have a reputation for beating defences if not tackled quickly.
Local health chiefs have found that Doncaster men need to raise their game in order to detect the tell-tale signs of bowel, lung and prostate cancer much earlier, so they can give themselves a fighting chance of beating the diseases. So this season the club has teamed up with NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to promote Be clear on cancer, a campaign which flags up to fans the warning signs they need to look out for.
Dr Nick Tupper, chair of the CCG and GP ambassador for the campaign, said: “We’re grateful for Rovers’ support. Last year we had some great results from a campaign we ran with the club to raise awareness of prostate cancer. It led to more than 100 Doncaster men having their first treatment for some form of urological cancer compared to the same period the previous year – an increase of 50 per cent.
“This season we want to target local men again and we’re expanding the campaign to include spotting the signs of bowel and lung cancer as well as prostate. In addition, we’ll also be focussing on female fans and their friends and relatives, asking them to be aware of the signs of lung cancer as Doncaster women also tend to be slower than other parts of the country in recognising them and contacting their GP."
Men are particularly hard to target with health campaigns but there is evidence of similar positive results from other parts of the country where football clubs have been a key partner.
Club Doncaster (nee Doncaster Rovers) Foundation Chief Executive, Liam Scully said “Health is a really important issue that research has shown that men in particular have trouble talking about. Last season’s health campaign was incredibly successful and we’re hopeful we can repeat our success last year and make sure our fans are aware of these important messages. We are hoping to work closer in partnership with the Clinical Commissioning Groups in Doncaster in the near future to help improve quality of life and impact of prevention for the local community.”
The campaign will be launched at the Keepmoat friendly with Rotherham on Saturday 2 August, with the club then focussing on a different one of the cancers at each of three home fixtures with Yorkshire sides during the season:
Saturday 15 Nov 2014 Sheffield Utd Bowel: blood in your poo or has it been looser?
Saturday 17 Jan 2015 Barnsley Lung: coughing for three weeks or more?
Friday 3 April 2015 Bradford Prostate: need to pee more often?
The game against Sheffield Utd will feature long-time fan and cancer survivor, Richard Rimmington, who is also a Rovers lottery agent. Richard, 62, from Town Moor, started supporting the club 50 years ago and has been a season ticket holder for many years. He had a successful operation for bowel cancer three years ago and is now a member of a local ‘survivorship’ group that is helping to influence how cancer support services are provided in Doncaster.
Richard said: “I’m delighted to lend my support to the campaign. Since having bowel cancer, I’ve made all my mates aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for. This is a great opportunity to spread the message far and wide.”
A key element of the campaign will be to get fans involved via match programmes, social media sites and the club’s website.