Despite have sat the last couple of weeks on the sideline for Harlequins, Ugo Monye is nearly back to full fitness, targeting Quins first fixture in the Heineken Cup as the time for him to return to the field. Off the pitch though, Monye’s focus over the last couple of weeks has been on raising both funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Care.
“It’s great to see Harlequins getting behind such a big cause. About half a million people in the UK each year are diagnosed with some form of breast cancer, men as well as women, so we wanted to show our support and the amount of donations that we received last weekend at the Exeter game were fantastic. We raised about £3000 and those kind of donations are invaluable to help fighting the disease.” In terms of getting behind the cause, apart from the obvious reason jokingly suggested by Monye’s teammates that “All lads loves breasts”, the fact that the disease is so widespread is an issue that the Harlequins’ wing feels is often forgotten.
“You get a lot of people in the gym trying to aesthetically please everyone, and sometimes you forget about what’s on the inside, and Breast Cancer is just one of those things that people might not consider could affect them. It’s a massive cause and something personally I’m very proud to be a part of raising awareness for and trying to help people with, as are Harlequins.”
Focusing back on the rugby, Harlequins are on a fantastic run this season, with their perfect record so far being complemented this week by the announcement of the Big Game 4 to be played at Twickenham on December 27th, a fixture that has been a real success for Quins in the past. Having sold out the fixture last year, the combination of entertainment on the field and off the field, with contestants from X Factor set to perform once again this year, has Ugo excited to see the fixture come around again as a self-confessed fan of the ITV show. “To be able to sell out a fixture at Twickenham at that time of year just after Christmas is fantastic, so we’d love to be able to do it again this time round, and hopefully pick up another win as well. Some of the acts in this year’s competition like Misha and Craig are great so I’d love to see them performing too.”
Right now though, Monye’s immediate focus is to get fit again. A positive visit to the specialist on Tuesday about his troublesome ankle brought good news, and in a Heineken cup group alongside Toulouse, Gloucester and Connacht, Monye admits there’s a lot of excitement. “Everyone’s been looking at those fixtures since the start of the season, and the way we’ve been playing so far it can’t come around fast enough. Tasting European success last year made us even hungrier to get involved. It’s a feisty group with Gloucester’s young guns and how Connacht have developed over the last few years has been excellent. There’s no easy groups though in the Heineken Cup, which is what makes it so appealing as a player.”
by Ben Coles
Ugo Monye launched the Harlequins Tackled Pink charity fundraiser. To donate using Vodafone JustTextGiving simply text QUIN55 £3 to 70070. All texts are free and 100% of the money goes to Breast Cancer Care