Club vice-chair Hobbs, who has embarked on the biggest fight of his life having started chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, is widely recognised as the true lifeblood of the Cardiff club having fulfilled many key roles and helped the club grow to be to one of the largest and most successful in Wales.
When word got out of Hobbs’ devastating diagnosis over Christmas, there was an immediate desire from all concerned to do whatever they could. A running challenge was decided upon which has since captured the hearts, minds and bodies of the whole community.
Former player, parent and junior coach Harry Trelawny explained, “We have around 250 runners in the what’s app group for the challenge which is providing so much motivation for each other – and for Dai who we’ve added to the group.
“Players who have never run any distance in their lives are regularly completing 5k and even 10k runs. We even have runners taking part in places like Holland and Canada.
“We have around eight people spending a lot of their own time running the organisation of the challenge – just because they want to do something for Dai – and our current running total is £23 000.
“Next month, the mini and junior players are going to join in, running 1k a day and we feel that if we can do this under the current restrictions, we should keep going. Who knows, the target of 100k miles in a month could turn into a target of raising £100k!
“We are currently raising money for two charities close to Dai’s heart – School of Hard Knocks and MIND Cardiff and we are looking to extend that list. We also want to keep going as the physical and mental benefits to our players and runners are proving to be life-changing.”
Former Rhiwbina captain Nick Howell added, “Throughout my playing days and since, Dai has been at the very heart of the club’s success, on and off the pitch. He would be the one ringing players during the week, making sure we had players for the firsts, seconds, thirds and even a fourth team at one stage.
“He has basically been full-time on a voluntary basis at the club since his early retirement. He helped us gain funding to build our own changing rooms and a small gym; he could be found cleaning or pitch painting during the week and was determined the club should retain a strong social element.
“He was always at the heart of that in the clubhouse after matches and he has always been relentless himself when it comes to fundraising. His kindness and humour transcends not just the rugby club but the whole community. Everyone who has anything to do with the sports and recreation club knows Dai, even if they aren’t linked to rugby at all. We all just want to do him justice and help him to stay strong in his battle. We know he would be doing it for any one of us.”
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