More than 150 players from the Sharks Community Trust walking rugby programme kicked off 2022 with a bang as they were treated to grandstand seats for Sharks’ New Year’s Day win against Wasps, thanks to club partner Printerland.
Participants of all ages, and from right across the Trust’s 17 walking rugby clubs came together at the AJ Bell Stadium to mark the start of the new year and take in Sharks’ convincing 26-18 win.
The tickets were supplied by Printerland, who have been a long-standing partner of Sale Sharks and have given away more than 10,000 tickets to local charities in recent years.
Walking rugby has proved a huge hit with players of all ages since the first club was launched at Trafford MV RFCC in 2017.
The game is played at a slower pace and with less physical contact, it’s perfect for those aged 50 and over who can’t play full contact rugby anymore.
Among the group represented at the Wasps game were players who had joined walking rugby clubs after suffering from depression, as well as those who signed up to a club to experience rugby for the very first time.
Sharks Community Trust’s Community Manager Vicky Irwin said: “Walking rugby is perfect for so many people and we know from the feedback we get, that it makes a huge difference in people’s lives.
“One player who came to the game told me that they had been hiding away with depression but after joining a walking rugby club six months ago, they feel they have made friends for life.
“It’s been a really popular programme with people of all ages and backgrounds since we launched it in 2017, and it was brilliant to be able to get so many participants together at the Wasps game.
“Printerland is a fantastic partner for the club and the Trust and they support so much of the work we do in inclusion rugby. Rugby really is a sport for everyone and with Printerland’s support, we’re able to introduce underrepresented groups to the sport and our club to new audiences.”
Altrincham-based Printerland first agreed a deal with Sale Sharks 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 the club, which sees Printerland continue to deliver an inclusivity programme in the local region, supported by the Sharks Community Trust.
The programme is designed to introduce underrepresented groups in the North West to the game of rugby.
To find out more about the walking rugby programme run by Sharks Community Trust click here.