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Sharks Community Trust have been running Walking Rugby at Manchester Rugby Club since May. The sessions welcome participants of all ages and abilities, however, there is one participant who has been of particular interest, Annie Booth is mother to two boys, one of whom, Ciaran, is a current Senior Academy player. Annie has Parkinson’s, which is a progressive neurological condition, causing problems in the brain which gets progressively gets worse over time. She was diagnosed with early onset in 2015, 18 months after her Father sadly passed away from the same condition. In the UK, 1 adult in every 350 are diagnosed and living with Parkinson’s.

Annie has a fantastic mentality to the diagnosis of a frightful disease and treats it as though her Parkinson’s diagnosis is “life changing, not life ending”. She goes on further to say, “eventually you find the will to reframe your future and instead of mourning the loss of the future you had planned for yourself, you begin to look towards a future of what is possible.”

Annie has been involved in the Walking Rugby sessions at Manchester Rugby Club since it was launched there in late May. She had previously always a passionate supporter and spectator to her boys, but like many Walking Rugby participants, had never found a place on the pitch until the Sharks Community Trust Coaches started delivering sessions to Rugby Clubs across the Sale Sharks 100 Club.

“Trust coaches have a great energy, enthusiasm and humour which never fails to bring a smile to our faces. The challenge for me is coordination and stability.  Walking Rugby I believed would be too tame for me but most nights we walk 6000 steps in a 60 minute sessions! It’s an enormous benefit for me personally to force my brain to think, walk, pass, be a team player, laugh and have fun, all at once. The signals from my brain get lost at times but I still have the desire to challenge myself in a safe and fun environment with old friends and new friends.”

– Annie Booth, Walking Rugby participant, Manchester Rugby Club


“Annie is a fantastic example of an individual with personal challenges who is fighting them head on. Walking Rugby is an inclusive format of Rugby and like Anne, we come across many participants with a host of difficulties and health issues ranging from Dementia, Depression, Sciatica and Visual Impairments. She has now embarked on many fundraising challenges for Parkinson’s UK, and back in July she walked 50k along the Jurassic Coast!”

– Vicky Irwin, Community Development Manager, Sharks Community Trust



For more information on Walking Rugby, please contact Vicky Irwin at Vicky.irwin@salesharks.com and to support Anne with her fundraising, please visit her fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/greenglass

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