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Saints launch Mixed-Ability Rugby Programme

Northampton Saints are delighted to be launching a brand new mixed-ability rugby programme this Thursday as part of Project Rugby. 

Saints’ community team will be working with Northampton Heathens RFC to establish and develop a Mixed Ability rugby team in Northamptonshire. Training sessions will be hosted at Northampton Old Scouts RFC on Rushmere Road, and will run every Thursday evening at 7pm from 27th September until the end of the season. 

Community coaches from Saints will assist in delivering the programme which aims to reach those within disability groups who are both seasoned players or have never before considered trying rugby.

"These sessions really are for everyone, regardless of ability or level of experience."

Connor Fleming, Saints' Head of Community

The sessions will be inclusive for able-bodied participants with both learning and physical disabilities, and have been backed by both International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) and the RFU’s regional development officer Ian Renard.

Saints Inclusion Officer Jamie Higgins hopes to establish a mixed-ability team in the coming months, while also aiming to engage hundreds of new players over the course of this season by delivering a mixed-ability programme in local schools and community groups.

“It’s an exciting time to be launching such a fantastic programme which can really help get more people involved in the game, and help bring more of the local community closer to the Club,” said Connor Fleming, Head of Community at Northampton Saints.

“We want to welcome any and every person with either learning or physical disabilities to take part in these sessions. They really are for everyone, regardless of ability or level of experience.

“We’re proud to be able to kick off initiatives like these in the East Midlands. Getting underrepresented groups playing sport is hugely important, and I’m sure participants in our mixed-ability rugby programme will soon discover the power and values of rugby.”

Project Rugby, a joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby, aims to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups – such as ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, or those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. 

The programme engages thousands of young players at over 200 clubs across England every year to take up rugby with the help of community staff at Premiership Rugby’s shareholder clubs, with Northampton Saints launching this mixed-ability rugby programme for the first time in Northamptonshire.

Fleming added: “We’re really thankful to be working with Northampton Heathens, IMAS and the RFU to get this initiative up and running.

“There are loads of sessions coming up and I’m excited to see how the programme plays out with the help of our superb coaching team.”

To get involved or find out more about the sessions, please contact [email protected]

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