Oxford rugby players wished good luck by disabled adults at Banbury home

The residents of Agnes Court with the Oxford University rugby players. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100021001
The residents of Agnes Court with the Oxford University rugby players. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100021001

Disabled adults in Banbury were treated to a visit by Oxford University rugby players ahead of the derby match against Cambridge.

The players visited Agnes Court, a home for disabled adults run by Leonard Cheshire Disability, on Tuesday (November 21) to promote the partnership with the annual Varsity match on December 7.

Oxford University men's rugby team captain Conor Kearns meets a resident at Agnes Court. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100033001

Oxford University men's rugby team captain Conor Kearns meets a resident at Agnes Court. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100033001

Residents at the Warwick Road nursing home also joined the players in front of the camera as part of a film that will help raise awareness of disability, which will be shown before the game at Twickenham.

Volunteer coordinator at Agnes Court, Susan Woodward, said: “The residents had a lovely time and lots of them had photographs taken for their own collections.

“The continuing support of the Oxford Varsity teams is very important to Agnes Court not only because of the fund raising, for which we are always grateful, but because it raises the profile of the home and of disability in the public mind.

“The Oxford Varsity players visits are always a highlight of the year.”

Oxford University women's rugby team captain Sophie Behan and Hazel Ellender chat to a resident at Agnes Court. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100045001

Oxford University women's rugby team captain Sophie Behan and Hazel Ellender chat to a resident at Agnes Court. Photo: Keith Barnes/Leonard Cheshire Disability NNL-171127-100045001

Women’s team captain Sophie Behan, 21, talked about the importance of giving back to the community and supporting disabled people through Varsity.

“We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunities that we have,” she said.

“I think it’s important to be grateful every day for everything that we have, and to do what we can to help those who haven’t had the same opportunities as us.

“The experience of today was just incredible. It’s great that as we’ve had so many opportunities in our lives, we get to give something back to people who haven’t had as many.”

Men’s team captain Conor Kearns added: “There’s been an association between Leonard Cheshire and the rugby club for a number of years.

“It was really nice of everyone in the service to have us over. It was lovely to meet everyone and today was a great experience.”

The Varsity match will take place as a double header beginning at 11.30am at Twickenham stadium, and is set to attract large numbers of rugby fans watching live at the stadium and watching on BBC Sport.

Leonard Cheshire Disability has been charity partner for the fixture since 2014.