Selkirk rugby players hand over money raised by Movember efforts

Selkirk’s rugby players are always as ready to pitch in for good causes off the field as they are for their team on it in Tennent’s Premiership matches against the likes of Hawick and Jed-Forest.

By John Smail
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 10:01 am
Patrick Macdonell, Jane Macdonell, Andrew McColm, campaign organiser Aaron McColm, Michael Jaffray, Darren Hoggan and Liam Cassidy at the cheque handover at Selkirk Rugby Club (Photo: John Smail)
Patrick Macdonell, Jane Macdonell, Andrew McColm, campaign organiser Aaron McColm, Michael Jaffray, Darren Hoggan and Liam Cassidy at the cheque handover at Selkirk Rugby Club (Photo: John Smail)

Players for the Philiphaugh team raised £2,127 in 2020 for their home-town’s food bank by running, cycling and walking a combined total of 1,185 miles, that distance, converted into kilometres, marking the year the club was founded, 1907.

Back in November, they joined rugby clubs worldwide in backing the latest edition of the annual Movember charity campaign by growing moustaches and asking family and friends to sponsor their efforts at cultivating facial hair over the course of the month.

Their tache-centred toils raised £3,000 that time round, and that money is being divided equally between three charities close to their hearts – Prostate Cancer UK, the Harris Trust and the Brain Tumour Charity.

Representatives of the latter two organisations – Jane and Patrick Macdonell and Michael Jaffray – were on hand at Philiphaugh last week to take delivery of cheques for £1,000 from the club’s Movember fundraising organiser, Aaron McColm.

“All the players bought into the challenge, with 44 taking part altogether,” said McColm.

“Myself, Ross Nixon and members of the social committee chose the charities, all of which have links to the club and are close to the players’ hearts.”

The Harris Trust was set up in memory of 19-year-old Selkirk player Harris Macdonell following his death in August 2020.

His mother Jane thanked his former team-mates for their fundraising efforts in his name, adding: “We’re hoping to complete a music recording studio at Selkirk High School very soon and are continuing to do work with Edinburgh University.

“We’re also hopeful we can have some discussions about rugby coaching for autistic young people and set some targets for that this year.

“We’ll be looking to the Strathmore Community Trust for their expertise as they have started something similar up north.”

Representing the Brain Tumour Charity was former Selkirk first-team captain Michael Jaffray.

His wife Matilda is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumour, and he said: “Ross contacted me to ask it would be all right to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity and, of course, I was delighted.

“It’s tremendous what the Selkirk players have achieved, and we really appreciate all the work that’s been put in.

“Congratulations go to everyone involved.

“The Brain Tumour Charity tends not to get as much funding as some of the higher-profile cancer organisations, but that said, brain tumours are the biggest killer of people under the age of 40, so it’s really important that the organisation continues to be supported.”