Traditionally, on the last day of college before Easter break, we would see students flooding the campus with little yellow caps hosting the Rugby Club’s Daffodil day in aid of Irish Cancer Society. However, on the 4th of March, we won’t get to witness that exactly this year, as the University College Dublin (UCD) Rugby Club has chosen to host the day virtually and completely online this year.

For those unable to attend the online event, this year all students, staff and anybody who wants to help the cause will be able to donate online via a link from the UCD Rugby Club’s social media. You will be invited to participate in the clubs keepy-up challenge using a tennis ball or rugby ball, using the hashtags #keepyupthedaffodils  #virtualdaffodilday, and tagging @ucdrugby.

Those who manage to get the most keepy-ups will be in the chance to win prizes such as a signed Irish Rugby jersey, a signed Leinster Rugby jersey and more. The challenge’s objective is for participants to donate 5 euro and tag 5 friends to try to beat your score, and you may even see some familiar faces participating.

UCD Rugby Daffodil Day Kick
Former UCD Rugby player and current Leinster and Ireland flyhalf Ross Byrne kicks a ball covered in daffodils from the tee, wearing a UCD rugby jersey and a bright yellow daffodil. Photo: UCD Rugby

The importance of the UCD Rugby Daffodil Day

UCD Rugby’s Daffodil Day has always been something that the UCD community thought of fondly each year, a sign to show that you’re halfway through the year already. The day has often demonstrated the community effort from UCD with students, lecturers and departments, all of which are eager to help and contribute to the cause. Even simple things such as the Estate Services helping put up banners, or President Andrew Deeks helping to endorse the day conveys the true spirit of UCD’s nature to help those in need.

The day has always run two weeks before Irish Cancer Society’s Official Daffodil Day, and last year that worked in UCD’s favour as little did we know an impending global pandemic was upon us. This allowed UCD Rugby Club’s Daffodil Day to be the only day to run in person in 2020.

The initiative started in 2016 by John Hammond, the Rugby Club Administrator. Hammond believed it was a great idea to allow the players who get a lot from the club to have an opportunity to give back. In the past, each member of the club contributed by completing two shifts of selling daffodils around campus. The event will be run by the Rugby Club’s Administration and 12 students from Stage 2 Sports and Exercise Management to ensure things run smoothly.

Cancer is something that has afflicted many people in our society in some shape or another, something which is a motivator for the day and those who participate. Over the past few years, on average the day has raised €45,000 for Irish Cancer Society. This year the Rugby Club hopes to see community support the cause despite the barriers the day has faced.

Laoise Murray – Sports Writer