The Sharks, one of the most recognisable and popular global sporting brands, has thrown their weight behind Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) KwaZulu-Natal and vowed to ‘go pink’ at the all-important Absa Currie Cup match against the Free State Cheetahs on 18 September at The Absa Stadium Durban.
With one in four South Africans affected by cancer, it is a cause close to the hearts of The Sharks with many of them having family members or loved ones that have been touched by the disease.
“Hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ for any person is tough to have to come to terms with and work through. The Sharks have committed to do all we can to support those living with cancer as well as to bring about further awareness for the Cancer Association of South Africa. In the past we have supported CANSA through their Shavathon campaign and more recently the Coast 2 Coast 4 CANSA expedition. But to be able to involve not only our supporters but our staff and players in such a personal way is both rewarding and uplifting to all of us; we all feel a part of this cause,” commented Brian van Zyl, CEO of The Sharks.
As respected role models, The Sharks will be urging all South Africans to lead healthy, balanced lifestyles, have regular screenings and take as many steps as possible towards cancer prevention. They will also be using their strong following of supporters to embark on a major fundraising drive for CANSA.
“The Sharks will undergo a complete makeover for the game with limited edition jerseys and the motto “black and pink, it really matters”. All spectators attending the game, regardless of who they are supporting, are encouraged to wear pink. CANSA celebrates women’s health in September and October but funds raised at the match will go towards all forms of cancer research and patient support,” commented Michael Ablett, Marketing Manager of The Sharks. “In addition to this The Sharks will be playing in their “modified” jerseys when they play against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on 4 September, sporting the trademark pink CANSA ribbon.”
“I am extremely proud to have been involved with conceptualising this project, after getting the backing of The Sharks for our Coast 2 Coast 4 CANSA jet ski expedition. It made perfect sense to strengthen this connection between The Sharks brand and CANSA with other worthwhile initiatives. We are currently working on several projects to raise funds and awareness for CANSA,” commented Russel Symcox, Expedition Leader: Coast 2 Coast 4 CANSA who was instrumental in establishing the pink CANSA ribbon onto the collar of The Sharks players’ jersey.
“We are extremely grateful to The Sharks and Russel Symcox for their commitment to CANSA, the event will certainly bring about an awareness of cancer the disease thus encouraging more people to be ‘cancer smart’,” commented Lorraine Govender, Provincial Manager of CANSA in KZN.
The partnership with The Sharks and CANSA is not an isolated initiative; there are two other events which will cement the relationship further. The Sharks Ladies Breakfast, brought to you by Absa is coming up on 29 September at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World which will provide a platform for CANSA to promote awareness about women’s cancers. October 9 sees the inaugural CANSA Relay For Life Rally which will take place at The Absa Stadium Durban.
About The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa by offering a unique and integrated service to the public and all people affected by cancer. As a leading role-player in cancer research, the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes as well as focus our watchdog initiatives to the greater benefit of the public. Our wide-reaching health programme includes prevention and education campaigns, patient care and support in the form of 12 Interim Homes and the main metropolitan areas plus one hospitium (based in Polokwane) for out-of-town cancer patients, support centres that offer stoma and lymphoedema clinics, medical equipment hire, toll-free line and support to children and their families affected by cancer.