Sharks Down Syndrome side to attend international festival

Sharks Crusaders Fin Club will head to Venice to play with teams from across the UK and Italy!  

Sale Sharks Down Syndrome rugby team is heading to Venice, Italy, to participate in the European Inclusive Rugby Tag Festival 2022.  

Sharks are joined at the festival by four UK teams, including Bristol Bears, as well as a host of Italian sides.  

Rugby and Inclusion Coach Meg Kirby, who runs DS Rugby, said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for the players involved on the trip as well as their families and carers.  

“Our rugby sessions allow the players to meet people similar to them, spanning all ages and abilities, so the chance to meet even more players from across Europe is going to be really awesome and so much fun. 

“I know the lads can’t wait – nor can me or the parents!” 

The festival is taking place at Mirano 1957 rugby club and will involve an “Olympic Style” opening ceremony. Participants will enjoy various fun and games, tag sessions, a mascot race between Italy v United Kingdom, and music and dancing.  

To celebrate Sharks’ inclusion in the festivities, star players Tristan Woodman, Lauren Delany, and Courtney Pursglove presented shirts to attending players. 

Julie Duff, whose son Josh attends the sessions, said: “Everybody celebrates the success of every child at these sessions.  

“Everyone is catered for, and the activities build up their skills right from warming up to the matches at the end.  

“It’s also an opportunity for parents to see the older ones who they won’t necessarily have seen, so it’s a really positive environment to see what these young adults can grow into and what their abilities are.” 

Established three years ago, Sale Sharks Foundation’s DS rugby sessions take place fortnightly on a Sunday at Sale Sharks Carrington training centre.  

To find out more or to get involved, email  

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