Talking ball skills on the training ground is very common place for footballers, yet checking their own ‘balls’ is usually a more private matter.
Over 2,000 cases of testicular cancer are recorded each year and the number has risen steadily. However taking a pro-active approach and treating cancer early has been successful in 98% of overall cases according to Orchid, an organisation that actively fights male cancer.
Galectico, a local football team who play on a Sunday evening on the astro turf behind Sincil Bank stadium, have helped to kick-start a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the importance of Early Presentation of Cancer symptoms (EPOC) linked to male cancer.
The shirts the Galectico player’s wear are printed with the statement “How’s Your Tackle”. On Monday 29th March the players from the team visited Lincoln City’s training ground to hand out “ball bags” to the Imps’ players.
The bags contain two stress balls, leaflets detailing the project, information about different male cancers, details of how to live a healthy lifestyle and also how your “ball bag” can be registered.
The scheme is funded by the National Health Service (NHS) who work alongside the Lincolnshire Community Development Project (LCDP). The project worker for this campaign is Bonney Cottrell from LCDP who is working closely with the Galectico team and she believes that it’s the pro-active approach of people that made this project come to life.
“This was an idea brought to me by footballers. It’s basically to get people to check for lumps and bumps, and if they spot anything out of the normal to go to the doctor.
“It’s all about early presentation of cancer symptoms. It’s about being aware and checking. The earlier you go to the doctors, the better the outcome [and] better the treatment,” said Cottrell.
This is the first time this type of awareness scheme has reached Lincoln City Football Club and it is something that Cottrell thinks will help the project to succeed in its aims.
She said: “With all the evidence, you can take this to other groups and help motivate other people around Lincoln and in Gainsborough.
“It will motivate them to come on board to show them that this can happen because some people see a project and think false promises.
“You can actually tell that this is working, it’s come off the ground, ball bags are out and about and if people take the time to register them, we will know how it’s taken effect.”
The Linc previously raised the issues surrounding testicular cancer in its “Know your balls” campaign.Tweet