A father-and-daughter duo are celebrating a milestone fixture after two community teams locked horns in their first ever competitive rugby match.
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 a wide spread of ages.
The joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby is organised locally by Wasps community coaches, with the help of volunteers from Old Leamingtonians.
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.
For more information about Old Leamingtonians’ mixed ability rugby team, contact Emma Smith via firstname.lastname@example.org