Rugby runs for cure, raises $13,887

Men’s rugby march together for breast cancer research.
Men’s rugby march together for breast cancer research.

The men’s rugby team is winning everything they touch this year, and on Sunday they recorded what may be their greatest success of 2005. The 5-0 first team, as well as the second and third teams, won the “Friends and Family Team Challenge” award as the team that raised the most money in Kingston’s CIBC Run for the Cure. As a team, they raised $13,887.54 for breast cancer research—up from $10,300 last year.

“The majority of the guys came out,” said team organizer Andy Brooks. “Some were injured and couldn’t.”

The team’s participation is nothing new, but their unprecedented success is noteworthy.

“It’s been kind of a running tradition for the last four or five years,” Brooks said. “It started with a few guys on the club who were affected personally by breast cancer.”

Brooks is one of them.

“For me, my mom had breast cancer, and after five years of remission, this year it came back, so it was kind of more important to me this year to do it—it was kind of special this year. My family was in Toronto doing the run this morning.”

Brooks said he gives the team’s head coach, Peter Huigenbos, a great deal of credit for motivating the team to work hard at fundraising.

“Huigenbos was a big part of our effort,” Brooks said. “He was the guy saying the speeches, getting them to go out and get the money or else we were running laps, so he was kind of the catalyst to get it going.”

Huigenbos said he pushed the team to do everything they could.

“I like to challenge the guys to raise more money every year,” he said. “I just scare them into thinking they’re going to have to run hard at practice.”

Huigenbos said he was proud of the team for their dedication to the cause.

“Cancer touches everybody, but especially breast cancer with us—whether it was a mother, grandmother, or a cousin, or whoever it was,” he said.

Huigenbos said he is grateful to everyone who contributed money to the team’s total.

“I want to say thank you to the fellow Queen’s students who did a lot of the sponsoring,” he said. “I would think well over half of what we raised probably came from students. The guys would go to the [cafeteria] or residences to solicit money, and one guy raised $350 on one wing of Victoria Hall.

“The students have taken a bit of a beating over Homecoming, and I think they deserve some credit, as well as the faculty and staff who helped us out.”

Huigenbos said he also sent his players out into the community to look for additional sponsorship.

“Sometimes they’d go stand on a street corner for an hour, raise $200 and go home,” he said. “We [liked doing] this small thing to help out.”

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s website, more than 170,000 people across the country participated in the Run for the Cure at over 40 sites. The event raised more than $21 million for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

The run capped off a great weekend for men’s rugby, in which the first team beat Waterloo to remain undefeated, and the second team also won.

“It’s been a good year on and off the field,” Huigenbos said.

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