Northampton Saints’ Kascie Higgins is hoping to inspire another generation of wheelchair rugby players after being shortlisted for the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year prize at the 10th annual Northampton Leisure Trust Sports Awards.
With a glittering awards ceremony set to take place this evening at the Guildhall in St Giles Square, Higgins was nominated thanks to his commitment and appetite for wheelchair rugby.
The 18-year-old has been with Northampton Saints’ wheelchair rugby team since the very first day of the side’s taster sessions back in January 2017, and as well as playing in the WR5s for the Club’s team, he is now playing in his second season of the Division 3 Super Series for Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors.
Higgins has also been pioneering more participation in the sport and fundraising brilliantly over the last 12 months, raising enough money for not only his own elite prescription chair, but also donating to the Club’s programme and to Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby’s Tokyo 2020 campaign.
And the starlet is eager to continue to motivate more young people into the sport.
“I feel honoured to have been first nominated and then shortlisted for this award, having been first inspired to get involved in wheelchair rugby after watching matches at the London 2012 Paralympics,” he said.
“When Northampton Saints started its own team in January 2017, I jumped at the chance of joining and have never looked back.
“Playing in the WR5s has been my highlight so far; winning the Championship division with my teammates was an amazing experience.
“Wheelchair rugby has improved my confidence, and although I still have a lot to learn in the sport, I really enjoy inspiring and supporting our junior club members.”
The Northampton Leisure Trust Sports Awards is an annual event held in partnership with Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire Sport, which marks the start of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards at a local level.
The event is delivered to recognise the wealth of sporting talent within the town and celebrate the achievements of teams and individuals, as well as the valuable contribution that people make to sport.
Emily Carter-Morris – School Sports Coordinator at Northampton Academy – who nominated Higgins for the award, added: “We have this year seen first-hand Kascie’s dedication and passion for wheelchair Rugby.
“He has fundraised tirelessly to enable him to buy both his own chair and support his club too, as well as being a successful and much-valued member of his team,
“Kascie also dedicates his time to helping encourage others in the sport by volunteering at junior coaching sessions.
“Wheelchair rugby has had a positive effect on all aspects of Kascie’s life, and his growth in confidence in particular has been such a pleasure to witness.”
Saints' Wheelchair Rugby Team are always on the lookout for new members to join both our junior and senior teams - for more information on how you can get involved, email Jamie Higgins at [email protected].