The Varsity Match’s support for disability charity on the mark

5 December 2016

Players from Oxford university rugby teams outside Agnes CourtOxford and Cambridge University’s rugby teams are proud to support leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire Disability at the annual Varsity Match.

The 135th men’s and the 30th women’s Varsity Match will take place this Thursday (8 December) at Twickenham Stadium.

Squad members of both teams visited homes for disabled adults run by the charity to see how vital donations from the Varsity Match will support residents with life enhancing care and activities.

Former England rugby international Alastair Hignell is a trustee of Leonard Cheshire Disability.

He played for Cambridge four times in the Varsity Match while at university — including as captain of the team.

Alastair, who has multiple sclerosis, said:

‘I am excited by another chapter in the enduring rivalry between two of the world’s greatest universities at the Varsity Match at Twickenham.

‘I am also excited for very special and personal reasons too. The 2016 Varsity Match is the 40th anniversary of a record-breaking match for Cambridge. The reunion will be memorable!

‘I am honoured to be representing Leonard Cheshire Disability.

‘It is an incredible charity that supports disabled people around the world to fulfil their potential and live the life they choose.

‘Next year, in 2017, the charity celebrates the centenary of the birth of its founder Leonard Cheshire — an extraordinary and inspirational man.’

Leonard Cheshire Disability also has strong links with Oxford.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, a highly decorated British RAF pilot in the second world war, grew up in Oxford and went to the Dragon School.

In 1936, aged 18, he returned to the city to study jurisprudence at Merton College.

Following their visits to see Leonard Cheshire’s services, Oxford women’s team captain Catherine Wilcock, a 3rd year student at Wadham College, said:

‘It’s been a really fun and interesting afternoon talking to the residents about their lives.

‘This is such a nice and supportive environment.

‘Coming here today opened my eyes to what the Varsity fundraising will go towards.

‘If any of my closest family were at this home they would be really happy and that’s the most important thing.’

After his visit, Cambridge men’s team captain Daniel Dass said:

‘It has been great to visit one of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s fantastic homes in Cambridge.

‘I just spent the last couple of hours talking to some amazing men and women, it’s been a fantastic experience to hear about and see the really amazing work being done here.’

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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