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Cardiff University Sports clubs make lifesaving difference to hospital patients

Making a donation: Tom Wilson, Captain of the 1st Men’s Rugby Team doing his part. Photo Credit: Welsh Blood Service

By Jess Warren

On Friday, November 23, more than 100 student sportsmen and women rolled up their sleeves and donated blood at a specially arranged clinic for sports clubs at Cardiff University.

The special ‘sports clubs’ clinic, was hosted at Cathays Community Centre, and was arranged per the request of Cardiff University Men’s Rugby Club. Last year, Will Bull from the team organised over 50 members from Men’s Rugby to donate, and wanted to build on the success of the previous year.

This year, the rugby club was joined by donors from the Men’s Cricket Club, Women’s Rugby Club, Women’s Hockey Club, Men’s Hockey Club, Women’s Rugby Club and the Medics’ Netball Team, filling over 100 appointments.

When asked about organising the session, Will Bull said: “The lads that came along to donate last year were impressed by how simple it is to donate, so this year we decided to put out the call to other sports clubs to join us and find out for themselves.

“We’ve been raising awareness of the session across our network of contacts and have worked hard to fill the appointment grid. We were delighted that so many of our fellow students responded to the call.”

Along with the success of 100 blood donors, 40 of them also enrolled on the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry. The Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry is a register of volunteers that is searched daily for potentially life-saving matches for patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Hugh, a History student and Charity Officer for Cardiff University Cricket Club, attended with his teammates and donated for the first time: “We are really happy to support a great cause and raise awareness of the need for blood. All of us from the cricket club are first time donors and we look forward to coming down again when the Welsh Blood Service returns to the area.”

It has been calculated that one donation of blood can potentially save up to three lives. The 100 donations achieved by Cardiff University’s sportspeople at this session could have a positive impact on up to 300 lives.

Jonathan Ellis, head of donor engagement at the Welsh Blood Service and a former Cardiff University student, said: “Attendance at our donation sessions across Wales relies on us having advocates in local communities to help spread the word about blood donation. Cardiff Men’s Rugby have been a huge driving force in the success of this session.

“We are grateful to Will, his rugby teammates and to all those who worked tirelessly to promote the session and ensure our appointment grid was full. We look forward to seeing them all again in one of our local clinics in Cathays, City Hall, Tesco Western Avenue (near Talybont) or when we next visit Cardiff University in early 2019.”

If you’d like to book a blood donation, visit welshblood.org.uk or call 0800 252 266

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