On Monday night at Bath Rugby’s United game a youth group from Odd Down Community Centre had a great evening at The Recreation Ground – for most of them it was the first time they had even seen a rugby match.
The group are part of a project called Teenage Rampage which is a weekly session for disabled young people aged 13 – 19. It is one of many projects run by play charity, Bath Area Play Project. The sessions are led by Outreach Worker, Sam Ward with a team of two Playworkers and regular volunteers. All the staff are trained and experienced at working with disabled young people providing age appropriate activities, free play, life skills work and positive role models.
Caryl Thomas and Jimmy Deane, from Bath Rugby’s Foundation have visited the centre on several occasions to take part in Teenage Rampage and thought it would be a fantastic experience for the youngsters to see a game. They arrived by mini bus in semi darkness and before the game even started, they enjoyed a small tackling session with Caryl and Jimmy, who lit the area with the Land Rover headlights! They put tackle suits on and had fun bumping and tackling each other.
Once they found their seats in the stands, they were all given flags to wave and there was lots of cheering. Caryl spoke of Harry, a very enthusiastic boy: “Harry loves Bath and at half time he asked: Can we do a guard of honour? Can we shake the players hands? Can we do the tunnel? So we did a tunnel when the players ran in. Afterwards, they bumped into Bath Rugby player, Charlie Beech, and chatted to him and even had their having photos taken with him.”
The children who were unable to go to the game were visited by Amy Young, a Bath Rugby Ladies Player at Odd Down last night. They enjoyed lots of activities and were very interested in the fact that Amy had a broken ankle and was on crutches – they all wanted to try them out!
The children enjoyed the visit to the Rec so much that Caryl is already organising another visit to a match after Christmas.