October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, but we mustn’t forget that breast cancer is just one of many strains of the disease that can have a devastating impact on our lives.
Although breast cancer largely affects women, there is an increasing number of men now being diagnosed with breast cancer. However, men are more likely than women to suffer from a wide range of cancers. The types of cancer that affect solely men are prostrate cancer, testicular cancer and cancer of the penis; while both genders are at risk from bowel cancer, lung cancer and bladder cancer, to name just a few.
Hockey is playing its part in the fight against the disease. Coaches versus Cancer is a national programme in the USA, in which coaches lead their teams in fund-raising and awareness-raising events. Coaches versus Cancer began life in Michigan, and was actually started as a basketball event, before hockey took up the baton. Now a wide range of sports and a number of neighbouring states are all involved in a series of events over the month of October. Money is raised through prize draws, selling merchandise, gate money and donations.
Across the border in Canada, hockey players at all levels are working hard in the fight against cancer. While the Canadian men’s team sport moustaches every November for the expanding Movember movement, at Surrey Field Hockey Club in British Columbia, participants in the Sixth Surrey Lions Cup raised more than $12,400 towards the Canadian Cancer Society.
The event, which went under the banner, Field Hockey Tackles Cancer, attracted teams from India, England, Germany and the USA. It runs over three days and more than 30,000 fans come along each year to watch the matches. This year, the Canadian U21 men’s team played an exhibition match in front of a capacity crowd.