Water Polo Match Raises Funds for Hospice


Brothers Luke and Carl Smith have raised more than £1,100 for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice after organising a charity water polo match in memory of Julian Dawson.

Julian, or ‘Jules’ as he was also known, sadly passed away in 2018. Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, based in Headingley, supported Julian throughout his illness with physiotherapy and reiki sessions, and offered counselling and support to his family and friends.

Inspired to do something in his memory and to raise money for the hospice that supported him, the brothers and other club committee members organised the first charity match in 2018.

Over the course of the last five years, the water polo fundraiser has raised an incredible £4,400 for the local charity.

Morley Water Polo Club

Luke explained:

“Julian was a valued and popular member of Morley Swimming and Water Polo Club. In addition to serving on the committee as membership secretary, he was also a member of the men’s senior team. A charity water polo match seemed like the perfect way to remember him.

Back in 2018, it was just a contest between the men’s team and old club members. It’s grown significantly since then, so more people can take part and raise more money!

Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice were amazing for Julian. Many people think of a hospice as a place that you go to die, but it’s so much more than that.”

The memorial event, which took place at Morley Leisure Centre in Leeds, consisted of three separate matches and was attended by nearly 100 people, including spectators. A trophy presentation followed at a separate venue.

Luke continued:

“I think Julian would be really pleased to see everybody coming together and to see how well the club is doing. We’re delighted that Julian’s widow, Sue, comes along to watch every year, too.

“It’s not a sad event – it’s very much a celebration of Julian’s life. Julian lived life to the full and made the best of every day.”

Clare Humphreys, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice: “I’m blown away by Luke and Carl’s impressive fundraising over the last five years – it’s an incredible achievement to have raised over £4,400 for the hospice.

“From all of us at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice we want to say thank you. The money raised means we can keep supporting people at the most difficult times of their life.” 

For more information about Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, visit: sueryder.org/wheatfields  

To find out more about fundraising for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, including joining or setting up a fundraising group, contact [email protected]  

Main image: Luke and Carl Smith with Clare Humphreys.

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