As the national governing body for higher education sport in the UK, BUCS is challenging students to fund a ‘rugby team of Marie Curie Nurses’ in the first year of the partnership, meaning that Marie Curie will be able to fund 15 nurses, at least one in each BUCS region.
The two-year partnership was launched at BUCS Annual Conference at Swansea University and activity will begin at the start of the new university term in September. Sport-inspired fundraising and volunteering initiatives will raise funds for the charity which provides care to people with terminal illnesses in their own homes and in its nine hospices.
A programme of activity will be developed to support BUCS which provides 50 sports across 170 universities and colleges, running leagues involving over 4,700 teams and 100 championship events every year for students across the UK. Sports teams will be encouraged to compete against each other in a second league: the ‘Marie Curie Champions’ league where points will be gained through raising money through active challenges, supporting Marie Curie fundraising campaigns and students’ own activity, volunteering or providing ‘gift in kind’, for example providing free of charge facilities for Marie Curie events.
Funds raised will help Marie Curie deliver more high quality care to terminally ill people and their families in communities across the UK.
Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of Marie Curie, said: “We are delighted that Marie Curie has been selected as BUCS’ charity partner. Not only will the partnership raise significant funds for vital nursing care, it will also raise the profile of Marie Curie to a new audience. Marie Curie has benefited from partnerships with world-class sporting events, and we are excited about continuing this sporting legacy by fundraising with student sports teams. The funds raised from the partnership will ensure that Marie Curie Nurses can provide more care to terminally ill people and support to their families in communities across the UK.”
Karen Rothery, Chief Executive Officer of BUCS said: “Our membership have chosen Marie Curie Cancer Care as the official BUCS charity partner for the next two years, and we’re really excited about raising as much money as we can for them through the creativity, enthusiasm and energy of sporty students across the UK. BUCS’ vision is to enhance the student experience through sport, and what better way to galvanise the students and get them doing their bit for their community than to set them a challenge to raise money with a competition attached. It should be fun as well as rewarding, and I am sure we will soon be well on our way to funding our rugby team of Marie Curie Nurses.”
Keele University kicked off fundraising for the Marie Curie and BUCS partnership with a sponsored cycle ride. The University Football Club raised £1,500 by cycling from London to Keele – over 175 miles – in just one day. They left Buckingham Palace at 4.15am and continued to cover the route in relay with at least two cyclists on the road at any one time. Ten riders finished at Keele University 12 hours, two minutes later at 4.17pm.
Keith Harrison, Keele University Football Team Coach, said: “A venture with young people to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause was such a pleasure, tough but a pleasure.’