INTOUCH Epic cy­cle was per­fect trib­ute

Rugby World - - BOOTCAMP - Sally The­mans, Bridg­north, Shrop­shire

Three New­cas­tle Univer­sity stu­dents, who play for Med­i­cals RFC, re­cently cy­cled from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise aware­ness of men­tal health in young men – par­tic­u­larly rugby play­ers and stu­dents.

Fenn New­some, Giles The­mans and Alex Hay­ton were dev­as­tated when their friend and team-mate, Mar­cus Colville, took his own life last year. Friends and fam­ily had been un­aware that he suf­fered from de­pres­sion and sadly sui­cide is now the pri­mary cause of death in males aged 20-49.

Af­ter learn­ing that Mar­cus had twice com­pleted the fa­mous 874-mile cy­cle ride, the trio de­cided it would be a fit­ting chal­lenge to un­der­take in his honour. They took sev­eral de­tours to drop in on rugby clubs.

The­mans said: “We used the hash­tag #It­sOkNotToBeOk and we hope to re­move some of the stigma and get blokes like us open­ing up about men­tal health.”

Their fund-rais­ing page, just­giv­ing. com/crowd­fund­ing/for-mar­cus, has gen­er­ated more than £5,000 to­wards a fund set up by Mar­cus’s fam­ily that in­creases men­tal health aware­ness. I hope read­ers can lend sup­port and so help pre­vent this sort of tragedy hap­pen­ing to more young men. RW says: A fan­tas­tic cause – it must have been a very mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Set­ting out The in­trepid trio

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