Printerland support sees youngsters treated to thrilling finish

Families involved in Sharks Community Trust’s Down Syndrome programme enjoyed the thrills and spills of Sale Sharks’ win against high-flying Harlequins last week thanks to official club partner Printerland. 

Youngsters from 12 families took to the pitch at half time to have their picture taken under the posts in front of a packed AO Stand at the AJ Bell Stadium. 

The young people, aged between six and 24 years old, then took their places in the Printerland Stand as Sharks overcame the reigning Premiership champions 28-22. 

All but two of the club’s guests were watching a rugby match for the first time after being introduced to the sport through the Trust’s fortnightly Down Syndrome programme, which is held at the club’s Carrington training facility. 

But they quickly got into the swing of things and joined a buoyant AJ Bell faithful after the game in a rousing rendition of Neil Diamond hit ‘Sweet Caroline’. 

Sharks Community Trust’s Community Manager Vicky Irwin said: “Everyone loved the game and it was fantastic to get everyone from the Down Syndrome programme on the pitch. 

“We ran a Down Syndrome rugby session on Sunday and everyone who had been at the game had lost their voice. They really got into the game and the atmosphere. 

“Printerland is a fantastic partner for the club and the Trust and they support so much of the work we do in disability rugby. 

“Rugby really is a sport for everyone and with Printerland’s support, we can introduce underrepresented groups to the sport and Sale Sharks to new audiences.” 

Altrincham-based Printerland have been a long-standing partner of Sale Sharks having first agreed a deal back in 2004 to sponsor the Cheadle End of the club’s former home ground at Edgeley Park, before becoming official Family Stand sponsors at the AJ Bell Stadium in 2016. 

Last year they extended their deal with club, which sees Printerland continue to deliver an inclusivity programme in the local region, supported by the Sharks Community Trust. 

More than 10,000 match-day tickets have been given away to local charities in recent years by Printerland with the programme designed to introduce underrepresented groups in the North West to the game of rugby. 

Last week, Sharks Community Trust re-named its Down Syndrome programme after participant Sean Browne, who died in June. 

Read more about the programme and about Sean here. 

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