Wasps Netball has joined a new initiative that is urging more women to attend life-saving cervical cancer tests.
The local campaign called ‘1 in 4 women don’t attend a life-saving test’ will be showcased in the Wasps Fan Village on Saturday 6 April between 12.30pm and 2.30pm, and then between 5pm and 6pm.
It is ahead of a double-header of Black and Gold sporting action that sees the rugby side taking on Worcester Warriors (3pm kick-off), and the netball team facing Team Bath in the evening (6pm centre-pass).
A range of stalls will be offering free cancer screening education, advice and information and it is aimed at increasing the uptake of cervical screening – or smear tests – among women in the area.
The initiative is in partnership with NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), European City of Sport and the Coventry and Warwickshire Year of Wellbeing across the region.
According to Cancer Research UK, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged over 35, with three women losing their lives from the disease every day, but 75 per cent of cervical cancers are prevented by screening.
Women screened between the ages of 35 to 64 are thought to have a 60 to 80 per cent lower risk of being diagnosed with the disease in the five years following the test.
Verity Brown, Community and Matchday Marketing Manager at Wasps, said: “Attending a cervical screening test at your local health service is vital and could help to save your life, or stop cervical cancer developing in the first place.
“We hope that by supporting this campaign, and hosting a showcase in the Fan Village on April 6, we can help to raise awareness and encourage more women to book their tests.”
The local initiative comes after the government launched a national campaign ‘Cervical Screening Saves Lives’ - encouraging more women to take the potentially life-saving test.
Dr Sarah Raistrick, GP and Chair of NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, said: “To make it easier for women across Coventry and Warwickshire, many practices now offer GP and nurse appointments in the evening and at weekends. This means you can book your cervical screening test appointment at your GP practice at a time which is most convenient for you.
“The tests are normally carried out by female nurses who are trained to put you at ease. Women are often very busy with work and family commitments, and sometimes it can be difficult to find time to attend a cervical screening appointment.
“Some women can feel quite anxious about having a cervical screening test and this is often the biggest barrier preventing them from attending. If it helps talk to your nurse beforehand, take a friend or family member with you or listen to a podcast or music to relax.”
Liz Gaulton, Director of Public Health and Wellbeing in Coventry, added: “Showcasing the importance of cervical screening is just one of the ways we are promoting health and wellbeing this year.
“We ask every person to value their health during this Year of Wellbeing, and being the European City of Sport in 2019 strengthens the link between being physically active and feeling good.”
Tickets are available now for Wasps v Team Bath on Saturday 6 April and are available from www.waspsnetball.co.uk