Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby are delighted to have teamed up with Club photographer Claire Jones for the 2018/19 season.
Jones is one of the most recognisable faces pitchside on matchdays despite spending most of her time behind a camera, thanks to the bright red hats she wears as she follows Saints both home and away.
All of the money raised by RedHatPhoto.com goes directly to a cause selected by Claire, and after supporting Niamh’s Next Step and the Leon Barwell Foundation through Christian Day’s Testimonial last season, she has now chosen to contribute to Saints’ rapidly growing Wheelchair Rugby set-up.
“I’m really excited to be able to support Saints’ Wheelchair Rugby team throughout next season,” said Jones.
“It’s been fantastic to see the side growing as they have done in recent months, and I hope the money I raise can go a long way towards another successful season of development.
“I first watched wheelchair rugby at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London when Team GB played Japan. I was astonished by the professionalism and the athleticism of those players, so I was delighted when the Club set up our own team last year.”
Saints’ Wheelchair Rugby side have come on leaps and bounds over the past 12 months, with sessions held for both youth and adult squads on Monday evenings at Weston Favell Academy.
Saints secured the long-term loan of five brand new chairs from Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby earlier this year thanks to funding from the peoples Postcode Lottery, and plan to deliver their programme to 14 SEN schools around Northamptonshire over the next two seasons.
And the side competed in the second tournament of the WR5s Summer League last weekend at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – playing competitive fixtures against Dorset Destroyers, Team Solent Sharks, Ospreys and Woodbridge Warriors.
Saints’ Head of Community, Connor Fleming, said: “We’re really excited about the direction in which our already successful Wheelchair Rugby programme is heading at Saints.
"Getting support from the likes of Claire will allow us to extend and progress even further."Connor Fleming, Saints' Head of Community
“We are excited to continue growing our Schools Programme having already introduced over 60 new young people to the sport, and are looking forward to welcoming as many new young people as possible into our junior section on Monday evenings at Weston Favell Academy.
“Seeing the increase in confidence, the development of new skills and the sheer level of enjoyment that all our participants derive from this full-contact, mixed-gender disability sport is absolutely fantastic.
“We are still looking for sponsorship for the scheme for next year and would encourage anyone interested in supporting this incredibly worthwhile cause to get in touch!”