11:59AM, Sunday 12 December 2021
The Berkshire Banshees wheelchair rugby club, who train at the Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning, have been crowned Division 1 champions after a series of impressive performances over several months.
The Division 1 championship, against the likes of the Brighton Buccaneers and Saracens Wolfpack, began back in September with 5s matches held at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury. known worldwide as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.
The Banshees won three of their first four matches in September and all four of their matches the following month to put themselves in title contention.
In the last week of November, they claimed a 23-15 victory over the Dragons to stay in the race alongside the Buccaneers and Saracens. They then defeated the Buccaneers 19-15 in a close contest before thrashing Saracens Wolfpack 31-9. This set up a title-deciding match against Saracens – the only team to have beaten them this season – but the Banshees took a stranglehold on the game in the second half to win 22-15 and lift the league title.
Victory also sealed the team's promotion to the Championship league next season. Across the three rounds the club was represented by 16 players, with six new players joining the club after witnessing Great Britain’s Wheelchair Rugby team win gold at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Training takes place at the Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning on Saturdays from 1-4pm and friendly matches have been booked in for the new year. In addition, the club is looking to develop a youth team for children aged 8-16 and have begun collaborating with schools – both mainstream and special educational needs – who have children with physical disabilities to demonstrate the sport and encourage them to come down for training. Sessions will be delivered by CH rugby coaches. To help them with this endeavour the club is looking for sponsorship opportunities or funding support to help pay for youth wheelchairs, facility hire, kit, transportation, and the programmes into schools. For further information email email@example.com or call Craig Hunter on 07798 844202.
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