The Ospreys and The Joshua Foundation gave one young fan a day to remember when he visited Llandarcy Academy of Sport to watch the team train and meet the players.
13-year old Jeg Rabelas-Williams from Pontarddulais, Swansea, who suffers from ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia),brought his family and friends to the Ospreys HQ for a special treat organised by the Joshua Foundation, which aims to provide experiences for children with cancer and their families.
They were able to get a close-up look at the Ospreys training in the all-weather barn at Llandarcy, before being lucky enough to spend time chatting with the players, getting autographs and photos at the end of the session.
Jeg loves rugby and along with his family are big Ospreys supporters. He was diagnosed with ALL in 2008 and is in his last year of treatment. His treatment, which is due to finish in July 2011 is going well and he is back in school full time.
Ospreys outside half Dan Biggar said that the players had enjoyed meeting with Jeg and his guests:
“Whenever we do something like this it always has a big impact on the boys. We get great pleasure from being able to give something to the community, particularly in case like this where Jeg and his family have gone through so much. He’s a great little boy with so much energy, we all really enjoyed spending time with him.”
The Joshua Foundation and the Ospreys have a season long partnership that will see the two organisations working together closely on a number of projects that will help to raise both much needed funds and awareness of the cause between now and the end of the campaign.
The Joshua Foundation was created in September 1998 to provide holidays and experiences for children and their families where the child is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Founded by Sarah Cornelius-Price after her son Joshua Cornelius, who died from a rare stomach cancer aged seven, the Joshua Foundation celebrated its 10thanniversary on 4thDecember 2008 and in the years since the charity was founded it has raised more than £5million for kids with cancer.
Last month saw the Ospreys launch the 2010/11 Charity jersey in aid of The Joshua Foundation. Just 1,500 of the shirts have been produced and it is only be available to buy exclusively from the Ospreys Superstore at the Liberty Stadium or online at www.ospreysrugby.com, with the Ospreys making a £3 donation from each sale to the charity.
The striking design of the new charity shirt incorporates the colour scheme of the black and purple 2010/11 home jersey, with the addition of a ‘star’ pattern on the front to symbolise the stars of the Joshua Foundation, the children themselves.
In addition, there will be two matchday bucket collections during the season, the first of which took place at the LV= Cup against Leicester Tigers in Bridgend last month, with contestants from the Miss Swansea competition collecting £775 for the cause.
Speaking about how The Joshua Foundation has helped Jeg, his mother said:
“It’s not only helped Jeg but also all of us as a family. For Jeg to have the opportunity to do things that we never thought was possible has been fantastic. It not only gives Jeg something to look forward to, but for all the family to share that joy with him.”