Aberdeen locals raise over £17,000 for mental health charity

The SLT organisers Liam Cronin (botom left) & Derren Reid (far right) alongside Westhill Academy Senior 7’s team and MHA.

THE ABERDEEN-based organisers of a charity rugby tournament in aid of mental health charity, Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA), are celebrating the success of its 2023 event which raised over £6,000.

Sponsored by Saltire, Specialist Valve Services, and PD&MS Group, ‘The Sam Lobban Trophy’ was set up in 2018 following the death of Aberdeen-local Sam Lobban who passed away in February of the same year at 21 years old. The event invites teams and individuals to submit a team to take part in a sevens rugby tournament, organised in collaboration with Aberdeen Wanderers RFC – the team in which Sam had played for across 10 seasons.

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After successfully returning in the summer of 2022 following a two-year enforced hiatus, the 2023 event, which took place on Saturday 29th July, brought the total raised to over £17,000 since the inaugural 2018 outing. All money raised will contribute to the services that MHA provide, including counselling and support to those experiencing difficulties related to their mental health and wellbeing.

Celebrating the success of the event, organiser Liam Cronin commented: “On behalf of the SLT team who helped to make the event a reality and allow it to grow ever year, it’s such an honour to be able to put the event together in Sam’s memory and to have the support of his family, including Ben, Sam’s older brother, who is invaluable to the success of the event. 

To have so much support from our sponsors and the rugby community is humbling, and it only pushes us further to ensure the event is as successful as it can be and that we raise vital money to allow MHA to provide its life changing services to those who need it. Featuring players that Sam lined up alongside and those he competed against all coming together to support the cause means so much to all of Sam’s friends and family. It’s the perfect way for us to remember him.”

Attending the event on behalf of MHA, Chief Executive Graeme Kinghorn said: “MHA feel incredibly lucky and proud to be the chosen charity of The Sam Lobban Trophy. Following the hiatus enforced by COVID, the determination of Liam and all those involved to get the event back on track last summer was inspiring, and that has continued into this year’s event, ensuring it was the biggest yet.

Whilst it was a fantastic day and incredible to see so much support and an outpouring of positivity and care from all those involved, it’s crucial to remember the reason behind the event. Although the money raised will make an impact, it’s just as important that we use the event as a chance to reflect and raise awareness for the importance of taking care of your mental health and having the ability to talk through your feelings with those around you. The fact that this message has been so heavily embraced by Aberdeen Wanderers RFC and the wider rugby community is incredibly positive. The outpouring of positivity and care shown is a clear indication of how much Sam meant to say so many, and the impact his passing has had five years on. However, his memory is in good hands with Liam and the SLT team.”

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