Sale Sharks and Sharks Community Trust marked the end of Children’s Mental Health Week by giving away hundreds of tickets to local children thanks to club partner Printerland.
Almost 300 tickets for Sharks’ home Premiership fixture against Worcester Warriors were handed out to youngsters from schools that work closely with children’s charity Place2Be.
Among the schools to benefit was Haveley Hey Community School, in Wythenshawe, which was attended by Sharks co-owner Simon Orange as a child.
The guests and their families were treated to a five-try second half from the Sharks players, which helped them run out 36-12 winners over the visitors.
And kids from Haveley Hey then got to set foot on the AJ Bell Stadium turf for a picture with Sharks star – and Place2Be Champion – Ben Curry in front of a packed AO Stand.
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.
More than 10,000 match-day tickets have been given away to local charities and schools in recent years by Printerland, allowing Sharks Community Trust to introduce rugby to new audiences.
Sharks Community Trust’s Community Manager Vicky Irwin said: “Children’s Mental Health Week is a perfect opportunity for us to highlight some of the work that we do with young people right across the North West.
“To be able to work so closely with Place2Be and Printerland to bring so many children to what was in many cases, their first game of rugby was fantastic.
“Partnerships like this allow us to grow the game and I have no doubt that the experience of watching such an exciting game, as well as meeting Ben Curry, will stay with these young people for a long time.”
Last year Printerland extended its deal with club, which sees the firm 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.