Taking place on Saturday March 18 on the Tarka Trail, this year’s Rugby Ramble will see participants undertake a sponsored 11-mile walk between Barnstaple and Bideford Rugby Clubs (with a shorter route also available). Sporting their free Rugby Ramble t-shirts, walkers can enjoy a free pasty and pints along the way before meeting at the end of the route to watch a Six Nations game between England and Ireland.
As well as being a chance for locals to lace up their walking boots and take on a challenge, Rugby Ramble is an important opportunity to raise awareness about men’s mental health and the impacts loss can have. When someone is affected by a terminal illness, their world is turned upside down, but men are 50% less likely to access emotional support from hospice.
“Whether it’s yourself or a loved one, coping with the impacts of a life-limiting illness can be incredibly difficult,” said Charlie Bond, Supportive Care Team Leader at North Devon Hospice. “While our support is available to anyone who needs it, time and time again we see fewer men contacting us to tell us how they are feeling, what we would really like to change. The journey through loss is difficult at the hospice, we want to be there to guide you and offer that warm “hospice hug” to men who need it too.
While men may find it harder to talk about the loss, getting together as a group can help those conversations flow more smoothly. “Rugby Ramble is something that brings everyone together, which is so important,” said Shaun East, who is a regular at Rugby Rambler. “I lost my dad in 2016 and rugby was his passion. Participating in the trek is something I know he would have loved to do. After losing him I was then diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2018. My stepdad was then my older male figure to talk about what I was going through not only physically but also mentally Participating in Rugby Ramble is a great opportunity for us to come together and show our support for North Devon Hospice , which helps so many families through loss each year.
Rugby Ramble takes place on Saturday March 18 on the Tarka Trail between Barnstaple and Bideford Rugby Clubs. Registration is now open and walkers can sign up for just £20 with a special early bird offer from Friday 25th November until Friday 9th December at midnight. This includes entry to the hike, a free t-shirt, pasty, and pints.
Walk miles for men’s mental health and register today at rugbyramble.co.uk.