A TEAM of rugby players who were due to go on their first international tour before the Covid-19 outbreak took hold have received a special gift from Bath Rugby.

Members of Bath Rugby Foundation’s Mixed Ability team have been opening their doors to a full Bath Rugby kit in recent weeks.

To mark the tour, which should have seen the group of young men and women travel to Valencia, the club had donated a set of this season’s European playing kit for the squad. 

However, the lockdown caused the trip to be cancelled much to the disappointment of the players.

Bath Rugby Foundation’s Delivery Officer, Dan Hine, said: “Everyone was looking forward to this tour. For many of the group, this was a new experience, so it was especially sad when it had to be called off.

“One of the aims of Bath Rugby Foundation and our partners at Bath Rugby Ladies and Walcot RFC is to give all mixed ability players the chance to enjoy the full rugby experience, both on and off the pitch, and a foreign tour is part of that.”

The Bath Rugby playing kit had been intended to be a surprise for the players once they arrived in Spain, after it was donated by the Premiership club.

Dan said: “When we were arranging the tour, Bath Rugby offered the amazing gift of the free playing kit, which we were really excited to reveal.

“When the lockdown started and the tour was cancelled, the club were keen to know how the players were being supported and keen to know they would still receive their Bath Rugby shirts.”

Dan has visited the Mixed Ability squad at home – maintaining social distancing - to surprise the players with the special gift.

Some even received the kit from an extra special guest, Bath Rugby centre Max Clark, who had contacted Bath Rugby Foundation to volunteer his time during lockdown.

The players due to fly out to Valencia were all members of Bath Rugby Ladies Trojans or Walcot Warriors, Bath’s two Mixed Ability rugby teams which had been created through the Premiership Rugby programme, Project Rugby. Mixed Ability rugby enables players living with physical or mental disabilities to take part in the sport.

Funded by Gallagher UK, Project Rugby aims to introduce the sport to players who had previously been unable to find a pathway to playing.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PROJECT RUGBY HERE >>

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