Stars spread Christmas cheer to Sarries disability programme
PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 23 December 2019
Saracens and England stars helped spread some Christmas joy as they surprised the team's disability programme, the Sarries, at their prizegiving ceremony.
Jack Singleton, Ben Earl and Calum Clark put the youngsters through their paces in a series of touch rugby training drills on the pitch at Allianz Park, before joining former Saracens player Will Fraser to hand out trophies.
The Saracens Sport Foundation has been running the pioneering programme for 12 to 20-year-olds with autism and other learning disabilities to encourage participation in sport for its social, mental and physical benefits.
Every week Paul Tanner, of sponsors Alan Day Group, and his team of volunteers from Hampstead, New Southgate and The City turn up to help out with training the children while mums and dads enjoy refreshments in the Sarrie's VIP area.
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Other first-team players who regularly assist with training include England star Billy Vunipola, hooker Jamie George, Neil de Kock, Schalk Brits and Brad Barritt.
Tanner, who helps run the sessions with Saracens Sports Foundation, said: "The Sarries RFC is an amazing scheme that really captures the spirit of Christmas - bringing everyone together and creating memories for the children to have forever.
"A phenomenal amount of work has been put into this over the last 12 months and all of the boys have benefited from it greatly. One of our young men has just been accepted into University and we are so proud of his achievements and the example he is setting to the rest of the team.
"I'd like to thank the mums and dads that have really helped make this programme a success with their tireless commitment and encouragement and in bringing the youngsters to all the sessions."
Sarries RFC is one of a number of disability programmes run by the rugby club.