Cambridge win Varsity as match raises £40,000 for charity

13 December 2016

Players from Cambridge and Oxford University rugby teams in the 135th Varsity MatchCambridge University men’s team won the 135th Varsity Match in a thrilling game against Oxford, which helped raise almost £40,000 for the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.

In a turn of fortunes, the Cambridge men’s team ended a six-year run of defeats to beat Oxford 23-18, while Oxford’s women beat their opponents by 3-0 — coming back from a significant loss last year.

Some of the people who use Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Wandsworth day centre, Randall Close watched the action unfold from the stands, following a special reception to celebrate the relationship between the Varsity Match and the charity.

Among the special guests were the charity’s trustee, former England rugby international Alastair Hignell, who also played for Cambridge four times at Varsity including as captain of the team.

Also at the reception was Paralympian swimmer Stephanie Millward who won five medals in Rio, including a gold for the 100m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay.

Guests were treated to a very special question and answer session between Alastair and Stephanie about the importance of sport, exercise and following your dreams.

Stephanie said:

‘Sport is so important because you get fitter and healthier.

‘Even if it’s only a small bit, if you’re spending 20 minutes a day doing sport, it gives you power and motivation for the day.

‘I think more opportunities for disabled people are necessary.

‘I think that some places offer more facilities than others.

‘In other areas, where you don’t have as many opportunities, it can leave people isolated and left at home which is demoralising.

‘I’ve been chasing the dream since I was four years old, I have been wanting a gold medal around my neck, and all these years later I have got that.

‘Whatever hurdles got in my way, I got through them.’

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 and internationally.

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