Two community teams locked heads in first ever competitive rugby match

Date: 2 Nov 2018


Two community teams locked heads in first ever competitive rugby match 1

A father-and-daughter duo are celebrating a milestone fixture after two community teams locked heads in their first ever competitive rugby match at the weekend.

Leamington-based rugby club Old Leamingtonians, and Broadstreet RFC, based in Binley Woods, deployed their newest teams at the weekend, with both sides featuring players with and without disabilities and wide spread of ages.

Friends and families of the players watched both teams step out onto the pitch for the first time after months of work with Wasps’ Project Rugby.

Two community teams locked heads in first ever competitive rugby match 2

The joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby is organised locally by Wasps community coaches, with the help of volunteers from Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club.

It brings together mixed-ability players aged 14 and over from under-represented rugby backgrounds, providing a platform for them to get involved in local rugby.

Paul Huc, a Support Worker at Entrust Care Partnership from Cubbington, plays alongside his daughter Amy, who has Down’s syndrome, for the Old Leamingtonians Hornets – a squad filled with players brought together by the project.

He said: “The work that Wasps are doing with the community is fantastic. I really can’t fault them for the effort that they’ve put in. Everyone joined in and loved being part of the day.

“The project is a great way to help the kids experience being part of a team. I’ve seen first-hand how it’s helped them grow – their communication and teamwork skills have come on leaps and bounds.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Sean Noone and Jordan Young from Wasps, and Emma Smith and the Old Leamingtonians committee for their vision and support of this project.”

Wasps started the programme in 2017 and have introduced more than 1,500 children and young people to the sport since then.

The club are also encouraging youngsters to further their involvement in the sport by watching live rugby for the first time when the Wasps first team take on Northampton Saints at the Ricoh on Sunday.

Jordan Young, Wasps Community Development Officer, said: “It was great to see the hard work of all of these players pay off in their first ever game. All involved can be extremely proud.

“It shows that rugby is a sport for everyone, no matter what background you are from. Whether you are male or female, have additional needs, or have never played rugby before, you are more than welcome to come along to one of our sessions.

“They are two very well-respected clubs who have great links with Wasps. The two new teams will continue to grow and be great ambassadors for Old Leamingtonians, Broadstreet, and for Wasps.

“The staff we’ve worked with at both clubs have been exceptional and hopefully we can start to set up more of these teams across Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands. We want to make rugby more accessible across the region.”

For more information about Old Leamingtonians’ Mixed Ability Rugby Team, contact Emma Smith via emma.justimagine@gmail.com

For more information about Broadstreet’s Mixed Ability Rugby Team, contact Graham Harrington via harrin02@btinternet.com

To find out more about Wasps’ projects in the community, visit www.wasps.co.uk/community or follow @WaspsCommunity on Twitter.

Tickets for Wasps upcoming Premiership clash with Northampton Saints are available here www.wasps.co.uk/wasps-tickets