Cambridge rugby teams’ top talent meet manor residents in run up to varsity game

16 November 2015

Cambridge players at The ManorCambridge University’s top rugby talent visited The Manor care home in Huntingdon on Saturday 7 November to meet some of the disabled people the forthcoming Varsity Match will support.

The 134th Men’s Varsity Match and the 29th Women's Varsity Match will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Thursday 10 December, with Cambridge renewing their age-old rivalry with Oxford. 

For the first time this year both men and women’s teams will be playing on the day.

Women’s captain Nikki Weckman said:

‘It’s such a big year for the women, fielding a team for the first time at the Twickenham.

‘We are really excited to raise funds for such a vital cause and support Leonard Cheshire Disability.

‘Meeting the residents was as enjoyable for me and the players as we expect playing the match itself will be.’

Cambridge women's team at The ManorMen’s captain Donald Stevens welcomed the opportunity to visit the charity and added:

‘We have seen first-hand the difference the charity makes to the lives of disabled people and every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a big difference.

‘Our team have really enjoyed meeting everyone at The Manor and we look forward to seeing them at the match.’

Janet Leyton, who lives at The Manor and met the players, said:

‘Thanks so much to all the players who visited us to today. It has made us feel very good and I am eagerly looking forward to the game at Twickenham.’

The charity is also selling tables to parties looking to be part of an audience with Alastair Hignell.

Alastair and some other rugby internationals and will collect donations at the match.

Alastair, a trustee of Leonard Cheshire Disability and former Cambridge captain, said:

‘We hope those who have enjoyed England’s hosting of the Rugby World Cup might be encouraged to attend the latest edition of one of rugby’s oldest fixtures when Oxford again takes on my old side Cambridge on 10 December.’

Leonard Cheshire Disability hopes to raise £65,000 from the partnership.

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of disabled people every year to live as independently as possible. It provides care and support services across the UK, including The Manor near Cambridge.

The ambition of the charity’s founder was to provide expert care and support to any disabled person anywhere in the world, and of giving them dignity and respect in everything they do.

That drive remains alive in Leonard Cheshire Disability today.

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Notes to the editors:

  • Hignell won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award in 2008 for his work in spreading awareness of multiple sclerosis. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours. In 2012, Hignell won the 'Best Rugby Book' category in the British Sports Book Awards for the book Higgy. He was a ‘double Cambridge Blue’ at the start of his rugby career.
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries.