West Norfolk rugby player is going sober for charity

Jamie Williamson, Club Captain at West Norfolk Rugby Club (based in North Wootton).
From Beer to Water for the year
The club this season have teamed up with Norwich based charity It�"s on the Ball�" and have had a few small fund raising events on their behalf.
Jamie would like to do something a bit more personal and is going sober for a year to raise some money for them. ANL-160203-074554009
Jamie Williamson, Club Captain at West Norfolk Rugby Club (based in North Wootton). From Beer to Water for the year The club this season have teamed up with Norwich based charity It�"s on the Ball�" and have had a few small fund raising events on their behalf. Jamie would like to do something a bit more personal and is going sober for a year to raise some money for them. ANL-160203-074554009

A rugby player from South Wootton will be swapping beer for water from the start of next month to raise money for charity.

Jamie Williamson, 34, plans to stay sober for a year to fundraise for It’s on the Ball – a charity which supports men with testicular cancer.

The West Norfolk Rugby Club player will give up his beloved pint to begin a year-long sabattical on April 1.

Mr Williamson, who captains the club, said: “Since the start of the season we’ve been working with a charity called It’s on the Ball.

“Although we’ve done a few events for them as a club, I decided to do something on an individual basis.

“Because of daily life, I haven’t got time to climb a mountain or swim the channel, so I decided a bit of personal sacrifice was something I could do.

“I did Dry January this year and that was another thing which made me think I can do this. It’s going to be very tough because it’s standard practice that we all enjoy a drink and a sing-song after a game, but I’m confident I can do it.”

Mr Williamson, who has played for the club since the age of six, admitted that he has received a mixed reaction since announcing his venture.

“The reaction has been strange,” said Mr Williamson, who hopes to raise more than a £1, 000.

“I’ve had a lot of admiration and also a few people questioning what I’m doing.

“Some people think it is outrageous that the West Norolk Rugby Club captain is going sober, but after a few weeks I think they will get used to it.

“My mum has also been particularly concerned about me because she knows I like a drink, but there’s no point doing something for charity if it is going to be easy.

“I had a trial run when I was down the pub with my dad and brother the other Friday. When I asked for a tomato juice the look on their face said it all.

“After a year it will be interesting to see how I feel. I might go out and celebrate with a few drinks or might not want to have a drink.

“Not drinking obviously has health and financial benefits.”

Mr Williamson has no personal reason for raising money for the Norwich-based charity, which provides support to patients and their families.

But he said: “Testicular cancer is most prominent in young males between the ages of 29 to 49 and I’m in that range myself.

“Although I haven’t been personally affected by it, working with the charity through the rugby club has brought it to the forefront of my mind.

“Working closely with through the rugby club I’ve got to know the people involved and the good work they do.

“I’m following on from what West Norfolk Rugby Club has done and taken it a step further.”

To donate to Mr Williamson’s fundraising effort, visit: www.justgiving.com/soberskipper or text IOTB99 £ and your amount to 70070.