Cathays Conservatives AFC are the latest football club to have teamed up with men’s charity Oddballs which aims to raise awareness and money for testicular cancer.
This comes shortly after last month’s yearly Movember campaign and International Men’s Day, proving that, even in 2019, testicular cancer is amongst a range of men’s issues which are not talked about enough.
Ricke Jones, captain of Cathays Cons club, said that “we linked up with Oddballs because it’s a great cause and we believed as a club we could help spread more awareness through it.”
After showing racism the red card a few weeks ago, the Cathays based team are also highlighting how this global sport can be a force for good.
“We sometimes expect professionals to always be the ones to send out a positive message but we are just as responsible to do the same. It would be selfish not to do our best in using the opportunity to help in any shape or form,” said Rickie Jones, captain of the club.
Oddballs was founded in 2014 and is a charity which sells merchandise – famously underwear, but also hats, umbrellas and more – in order to raise both money and awareness for testicular cancer.
According to the NHS around 2,300 men in the UK are diagnosed with this type of cancer every year.
Nonetheless, the NHS state that it is one of the most treatable forms of cancer.
But it is only treatable if you regularly check yourself and talk about it.
The Oddballs website has a guide for men on how to check themselves thoroughly and properly.
The charity spreads its message through partnerships with both professional and local football clubs.
“People can feel quite distant to professional clubs doing campaigns, however when things are done at a grass route level people are more engaged in the campaigns and it has a larger effect on men who may not normally engage,” explains vice-captain James Hinder.
By using the power of football, Cathays cons club are helping start a local conversation about this as well as wider mental health issues before it is too late.
“Mental health is so important because it’s the biggest killer of young men in the UK. I think getting campaigns into sport at a grass route level is really important because if it means that even if just one person feels comfortable to talk to a friend/fellow player if they are struggling, then it’s worth it,” says Rickie Jones.
Oddballs meanwhile is growing as a charity.
You can walk down many high streets up and down the country and see men and women wearing their merchandise.
Football may be the cause of bitter divisiveness on the terraces but, on this issue, it is very much united.