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Wales Open golfers chip in for Cardiff cancer research

01 June 2011

Guests at this year’s Saab Wales Open have backed a pioneering cancer research initiative at Cardiff University.

Last night’s gala dinner at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort, the venue for the annual Saab Wales Open on golf’s European Tour, raised funds for the University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute.

The Research Institute aims to discover new approaches to beating cancer by targeting one crucial area in tumours. Entrepreneur and Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews is the Institute’s patron.

Around 700 gala dinner guests, including Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jiménez, and Welsh rugby legend Gareth Edwards, took part in a fund-raising auction in aid of the Research Institute. Lots included a Welsh international rugby jersey, donated by national captain Sam Warburton. Nathan Cleverly, the Cardiff maths graduate who recently won the WBO light-heavyweight boxing title, donated ringside tickets for his next title fight.

The event, supported by Barclays Corporate, was compered by television presenter Gethin Jones. Welsh ‘Go Compare’ tenor Wynne Evans sang for the guests and also donated tickets to the auction for a concert he is due to give with Katherine Jenkins. Cardiff University’s own guests for the dinner were hosted by the University President, Professor Sir Martin Evans, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Professor Alan Clarke of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute said: "The Institute plans to investigate whether it is possible to treat a variety of cancers by focussing on a small number of cells inside the tumour – the cancer stem cells. To achieve this, we will need to attract international scientific talent and install highly advanced equipment in the University’s new £30m research building, which will house the Institute. We are extremely grateful to Sir Terry and Celtic Manor for making us this year’s Welsh Open official charity."

Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews added: "I am proud to be a patron of this pioneering work and we are delighted that the Research Institute has been chosen as the official charity of the Saab Wales Open. This is world-leading research being conducted right here in South Wales and it’s important it receives the funding needed to continue its ground-breaking work."