First team get involved to help youngsters with learning difficulties
Saracens Rugby Football Club are doing their bit for the community with their latest project.
A group of young adults with learning disabilities were invited to watch a training session with the Saracens first team.
The youngsters aged 14-24 from Sarries RFC had the opportunity to play touch rugby alongside their first-team heroes and were presented with club calendars which all the players then autographed.
England full-back Alex Goode, 31, said: "This is such an amazing initiative and there's such great energy among the kids.
"I told my mum (Sarah) about it and she loves it! She's got really involved and has been assisting with the programme for about three or four months now, so it's in the family!"
The visit to the training ground was organised through the Saracens Sports Foundation.
The Sarries RFC team is sponsored by Hampstead car dealership Alan Day Group, who are at the forefront of a pioneering scheme to help young people with high functioning disabilities such as autism, down's syndrome and ADHD be more active and play rugby for a team that regularly completes at mixed ability festivals.
Each week, members of Alan Day Group, including Paul Tanner, managing director, give up their time for free to help coach the youngsters at Allianz Park while parents and friends are able to watch from a unique parent respite area within one of Allianz Park's hospitality lounges.
The popular programme, for up to 20 youngsters, is run by Charlie White, the Development Manager for Inclusion.
Charlie said: "We are so fortunate at Saracens Sport Foundation that with support from the club we are able to create memories for our young players, which will stay with them forever.
"The players inspire the boys week in and week out, they love being joined by the team on a regular basis at training and it highlights the real emphasis on the fact Saracens is a big family.
"The enthusiasm and commitment from the players supporting the Sarries RFC team is incredible, these relationships and memories will last for a very long time!"
England hooker Jack Singleton, 23, who signed autographs and chatted with the youngsters after training said: "This is an awesome programme, it's a pleasure to come and help out and all the staff and volunteers deserve a lot of credit."
Sarries winger Alex Lewington, 28, said: "I really enjoy working with the Sarries boys and girls, it's brilliant and the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time. It's such a positive experience, I'll definitely be back to help."
Paul Tanner, managing director of Alan Day Group said: "I'd like to thank everyone for their help and continued support for this amazing programme."