Fresh from helping his team mates retain The Ashes, and ahead of the inaugural Durham Ashes test match, England’s Graeme Swann is taking time out to help another team.
Graeme is proud to be a member of the committee of volunteers behind Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction. This online auction, text-to-win competition and Suffolk Ball aims to raise an incredible £1million this October for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and cancer services within two Suffolk hospitals.
The first Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, in 2011, received incredible support and auction lots included Jose Mourinho’s FIFA World Coach of the Year 2010 Ballon D’Or.
That year, Graeme kindly donated a VIP test match experience and cricket memorabilia and this year he wanted to do even more to help.
Graeme says: “Graeme Swann “I was approached last time by founder Gina Long to donate prizes for the auction and I was happy to give some cricket tickets. Then when I was asked if I’d like to be part of the voluntary organizing committee for the auction this time round I just jumped at the chance.
“It’s great for me. I was a huge fan of Sir Bobby and now I get to help his charity and support these other great charities too. It’s win win for me.
“Supporting cancer charities is hugely important because cancer is something which effects us all. Everyone in the country is directly or indirectly effected by it.
“Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction is something I’m proud to be involved in and I’m offering a bowling training session as a prize. Or batting, I can do a bit of that too.
“And you don’t have to be a sporting person to help out by donating a prize. Anyone can get involved and help us raise £1million.”
Taking place from 10 – 27 October, Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction will raise funds to help fight cancer. The first auction raised almost a quarter of a million pounds with the support of celebrities from the sporting world and beyond.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola, Andre Villas Boas, Alan Pardew, Arsene Wenger, Lewis Hamilton, Gary Lineker, David Beckham and Ant and Dec all donated prizes to the auction and this year’s prizes already look set to match these.
Lady Elsie Robson is very touched by Graeme’s involvement in Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction, which was founded and is coordinated by her friend Gina Long.
Lady Elsie says: “Bob absolutely loved cricket and I know he’d be thrilled by the support Graeme’s giving this auction.
“We’re so lucky to have such wonderful help for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. I’m often amazed by the amount of effort people will go to for the charity. It’s really very touching.
“My husband launched his charity to help other people faced with cancer and we’re all so proud and so glad that we can keep doing just that. The experts are always moving closer to better ways to detect and treat cancer and we plan to keep supporting them in their work as long as we can.”
Auction prizes already confirmed for 2013 include a VIP trip to next year’s F1 in Monaco by private ‘Eclipse’ jet, exclusive tickets to the 2014 PFA Awards Dinner and a week sailing on a luxury catamaran for ten people around the British Virgin Isles.
There are many more lots to be announced via www.sirbobbysbreakthrough.com and this year’s auction also includes a text-to-win competition to ensure anyone can enter and support the fundraising.
The cricket community is offering further support for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation tonight (Tuesday 6 August) through The Stephen Harmison Benefit Ashes Dinner at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton Hotel.
The event will be headlined by Stephen’s former international team mate Andrew Flintoff and Australia Coach Darren Lehmann. The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) Benevolent Fund will both benefit from the night.