Ospreys to wear charity jersey against Quins

The Ospreys will be wearing the 2012/13 Velindre Cancer Centre Stepping Stones Appeal charity jersey once again when they face Harlequins at the Riverside Hardware Brewery Field on Sunday (KO 5.00pm).

The Ospreys confirmed Stepping Stones as its official charity for 2012/13 at the start of the season, with the two organisations working together on a number of high profile events aiming to raise awareness of the charity and its work. Later this month, the Ospreys take on regional rivals Cardiff Blues in a Question of Sport special.

Velindre Cancer Centre launched the Stepping Stones Appeal, a lung cancer research programme, to both increase awareness of their work and to raise the money necessary to continue to fund and expand their research programmes.

Following the success of a number of fundraising initiatives including the Captains Climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mair’s Walk and the Stepping Stones Rugby Gala Dinners, over £350,000 has been invested enabling the Wales Cancer Bank to be able to collect lung cancer samples for the first time ever. These samples will then be used by researchers around the world to improve understanding of lung cancer, which will help in the search for new treatments.

The eye-catching design of the new Kooga manufactured jersey incorporates the green and blue colour scheme of the Stepping Stones logo with traditional Ospreys black, and features the charity’s logo on its left sleeve.

The limited edition shirt is only available to buy exclusively at the Ospreys Club Shop at the Liberty Stadium, online at shop.ospreysrugby.com and on Sunday from the temporary retail trailer at the Brewery Field, with a donation from each purchase going straight to Stepping Stones.

Andrew Morris, Head of Fundraising at Velindre said:

“We are absolutely thrilled with the charity jersey created specifically for the Stepping Stones Appeal, it’s a fantastic design.

“Money raised for the Stepping Stones Appeal to date has allowed the Wales Cancer bank to begin collecting lung cancer samples from patients for the first time ever. These samples will then be used by researchers around the world in the search for new treatments for this deadly disease and to improve understanding of lung cancer.

“Until now very few lung cancer tissues are available for research because of the difficulty of obtaining them. Scientists from around the world will now be able to apply to the bank to use the samples as part of their lung cancer research studies so money raised from the jersey and other events we will be holding with the Ospreys will help us to continue this vital work.”

Andrew Hore, Chief Operations Officer at the Ospreys, said:

“The Stepping Stones Appeal is one that will already be familiar to Ospreys fans following the successful Captain’s Climb involving our very own Jonathan Humphreys, and we are delighted to be able to show our support for the charity through this new limited edition jersey.

 “Cancer is an illness that continues to blight the lives of many people so we are delighted to be helping Stepping Stones in a small way in their continued fight against lung cancer. We take our responsibility to the local community very seriously and it is important that we support causes which give so much to Ospreylians of all ages.”

There are nearly 2,200 people diagnosed with lung cancer in Wales each year, with an increasing number who have never smoked. More people are surviving cancer than ever before thanks to early detection and better treatment. Although lung cancer is the most common form of cancer death in Wales, lung cancer research has been relatively poorly supported compared to other higher profile forms of cancer. It is estimated by 2015 there will be a 30% increase in the most common forms of cancer in Wales.