New Wasps team make their debut
Date: 17 Jun 2019
A new Wasps team for young people with disabilities marked their debut outing in Belfast earlier this month after generous donations from the Club’s supporters.
Around 30 young people represented The Wasps Disability Tag Rugby Team at the Wooden Spoon International SEN Tag Festival at Ballyclare Rugby Club.
They were one of 27 rugby clubs in attendance for the rugby festival, which was arranged by Ballyclare Rugby Club and supported by children’s rugby charity Wooden Spoon.
All of the young people who donned the black and gold jersey – thanks to very generous donations from Wasps and Land Rover - in Belfast are participants in a range of Wasps Community inclusion programmes, that have engaged over 2000 young people with a range of disabilities across the West Midlands since 2017.
Jordan Young is responsible for Wasps’ inclusion work and led the group on their adventure to the Northern Irish capital.
“This trip was the first time that a lot of the young people ventured outside of Coventry, let alone overseas, and I am really proud of the way that they all conducted themselves. It was amazing to see our teams all kitted out and representing Wasps overseas,” said Jordan.
“Our aim is to change perceptions – we want to show everyone that people with disabilities can play rugby too, it really is a sport for everyone. A lot of these young people take part in the DS Smith: Playing Advantage programme, and that is about giving vulnerable young people an opportunity to play rugby in a club environment that they wouldn’t otherwise have had. It is also about developing their confidence and independence and being able to take part in this trip has been extremely successful in that sense.
“The plane journey was particularly eye-opening for them and has helped all of them to develop as individuals through new experiences.
“The trip wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the £10,000 that we managed to raise from supporter donations at Wasps games, online donations, and from the Heart of England Rotary, throughout this season. So thank you to all of the Wasps fans, and everybody that donated – you have helped to make a difference to a lot of young people’s lives.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Ballyclare for putting on such a fantastic and well-organised festival – the bar has been set very high. We will be hosting the Festival ourselves next year, so watch this space!”