Sports Club choose Guts UK as their Charity of The Year

27th May 2019

Disco Balls Rugby & Netball Club based in Haywards Heath have chosen Guts UK as their charity of the year for 2019.

The club opted to support Guts UK as the cause is close to the heart of club manager Sam Galbraith, who has Acute Pancreatitis. Choosing Guts UK was an easy decision, as Guts UK are the only UK charity funding a research fellowship into pancreatitis.

We caught up with Sam to ask him about the season so far, his battle with pancreatitis and the team’s future plans.

Why’re you called DISCO Balls?

The song we put on before any game, competition or when we fancy a dance is D I S C O by Ottowan. It always gets us in the right mood and frame of mind. It’s also good fun to put the team in sparkly, glittery outfits – which is why our hashtag is #stayfocussedandextrasparkly

How have your competitions gone so far?

The DISCO Balls have played in two festivals already this year (East Grinstead Sunshine 7s and Kinsale 7s in Ireland). Both competitions were successful and we had a good time, we would have liked to have done better in either but finishing 3rd in both was a good fete.

How did you come across Guts UK?

I saw the Kranky Panky Pancreatitis Campaign in November last year when I was researching online. I read the 30 stories and found it refreshing to know that I’m not alone in struggling with pancreatitis. I looked through the website and read the patient stories and was amazed at the amount of valuable contents.

It was relevant for personal reasons and bearing in mind the feedback from friends and family, it was apparent the subject surrounding digestive diseases was not as highly regarded or known about as it should be.

When you mention pancreatitis to people, what is their usual reaction?

When I talk to people about my episodes with pancreatitis the majority say they have never heard of it and have no idea what it is or what it does to you. To be honest I wasn’t that aware of it until it happened and I am still learning to this day about what the pancreas does and how it is affected. I made some lifestyle changes including zero intake of alcohol (just over 3 years now) which friends and family have fully supported but on every social occasion it would still be a subject of discussion. As you can imagine being part of the Rugby and Sports scene the social side of things plays a very big role before, during and after competition.

How did your team & supporters react to your charity choice?

Everyone was really happy that we had partnered with a charity, and even more happy that it was one relevant to an illness that I had suffered from. It immediately raised their awareness of Guts UK, raising awareness of gut health, the research they fund and information available to the public.

What plans do DISCO Balls have for the future?

We have 4 or so tournaments left for the 2019 summer season which will take us to the end of August. Fingers crossed we can get our hands on some silverware at one of these!And two of these will incorporate our sister Netball team alongside the rugby team. We hope to keep playing these festivals every summer and all in support of Guts UK (if you will still have us!)

At Guts UK, we’re delighted to have been chosen as DISCO Balls’ Charity of Choice. Their extra sparkly outfits in a bid to raise awareness of our work have provided our team with many laughs and we can’t wait to discover their future fundraising plans.

DISCO Balls are giving a percentage of all their club-shop sales to Guts UK. To shop their funky collection, click here.

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