Bourne RugbyFIT girls fight like Heidi to raise cash for cancer-hit team-mate

Heidi Rock (front) of Bourne Rugby Club's RugbyFIT women's team with team-mates and coach Mark Thomas who organised the Fight Like a Girl Ladies Day event in aid of Cancer Research UK.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Heidi Rock (front) of Bourne Rugby Club's RugbyFIT women's team with team-mates and coach Mark Thomas who organised the Fight Like a Girl Ladies Day event in aid of Cancer Research UK. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Emotional Ladies Day as Bourne sports club aids special woman
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BOURNE RUGBY CLUB: Fight Like A Girl Ladies Day for Cancer Research UK

The “tough as nails” sport of rugby union wept tears of love at Bourne Rugby Club (RUFC) for one of its own tragically diagnosed with incurable bone cancer.

Mother-of-two Heidi Rock (35) was honorary queen, chairman and president of the club on Easter Saturday when a Fight Like A Girl Ladies day took place to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Heidi, of Saffron Walk, Bourne, husband Jason and daughters Katie (13) and Laura (11) all took centre stage at Milking Nook Drove, home of Bourne RUFC, for a truly emotional day that included face painting, leg waxing, Kick a Conversion contest, children’s games, raffle and tombola.

But the day’s undoubted highlight was a game of touch rugby in honour of Heidi as a team named after her, made up of club-mates from Bourne’s RugbyFIT ladies team, her took on a Rest of the World team.

The day raised more than £1,450 for the cancer charity and Heidi said: “I was blown away by the support shown on the day I was so proud of the work everyone put into it.

Lewis Gamble of MG Skip Hire and Recycling Ltd, Bourne, won the Kick a Conversion competition at Fight Like a Girl Ladies Day.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Lewis Gamble of MG Skip Hire and Recycling Ltd, Bourne, won the Kick a Conversion competition at Fight Like a Girl Ladies Day. Photo by Tim Wilson.

“It was really special and so I’m determined to raise as much money as I can for Cancer Research UK to help it continue raising awareness and funding trials and research.”

Heidi, an original RugbyFIT team member when it started by ladies coach Mark Thomas in September 2014, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2012 when she was aged 31.

She underwent a full range of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy before she was given the all-clear last year, living free of cancer for a period after that.

But in January this year, Heidi was told that she had bone cancer which is beyond cure and she described the chemotherapy now being given to her as “essentially palliative”

I was blown away by the support shown on the day I was so proud of the work everyone put into it

Heidi Rock (35) of Bourne RugbyFIT Ladies Club

“After being given the all-clear from breast cancer last year, I was determined to get as fit as possible,” Heidi said.

“I’d been doing a lot of running and gym work before I saw RugbyFIT women advertised which I thought would be a great addition for me.

“My cancer now is non-curable and I’m having chemotherapy which is essentially palliative.

“However, my many friends, supporters and, of course, my family make me determined to fight on.”

Mark, who organised the ladies day, said: “It was really emotional to see not only the ladies of the club, but the men as well who were really supportive.

“A lot of Heidi’s family travelled from Shropshire for a day that was very worthwhile and raised a lot of money for charity.

“Heidi herself did really well on the day because she was there from the beginning and even took part in the touch rugby game.

“It was great to have Heidi as part of that and I know it meant a lot to the girls.”

Emma Murray, one of Heidi’s team-mates, said: “Heidi is a very special to all of us and she’s such a wonderful, decent person.

“She cares about anyone she meets and Heidi is always in our hearts, especially now as she has various treatments and does every she can to fight this bone cancer.”

Meanwhile, ex-first team captain Adam Binns, who has just returned to playing rugby after eight weeks out with concussion, said: “What’s good about Bourne Rugby Club is the amount of people who are here and that love the club.

“Mark and the committe have worked so hard on the ladies day and we had a brilliant day.”

Inspirational Heidi’s fundraising fight

Ladies rugby day will help cancer charity