Snapper completes charity challenge

Skipper Pat Sanderson was on hand recently to congratulate official club photographer Ian Smith on showing his true Warrior spirit after he successful completed a gruelling duathlon to raise valuable funds for the Alastair Hignell Fund.

Dedicated photographer Ian has travelled the country to capture every second of Warriors being put through their paces over the years.

This year he decided the time was right to swap the lens for running boots and his bike to take part in his own challenge and tackle the Oulton Park Duathlon.

Ian took part in the event earlier this month and battled against an ankle ligament injury suffered on the day to complete one lap of the 4.3km circuit, followed by six laps on bike and then another lap running.

The current Warriors squad and coaching team got fully behind Ian’s fundraising efforts and captain Sanderson handed over a donation from the players prior to the league game with London Irish.

Coupled with donations from the club’s former players, who gathered at the final home game of the season with London Irish, he has so far raised over £600 and counting for The Alastair Hignell Fund.

“I injured myself just the start of the event, but because I was raising money for such a good cause I was determined to take part and complete the duahtlon,” said Ian.

“The players and backroom team at Warriors have been very supportive and I couldn’t image coming back to the club and telling them ‘I didn’t start because I hurt my ankle’ when you see what they put themselves through week in and week out.

“I’m pleased to have raised so much money for such a worthwhile cause and I’m already planning my next event when hopefully I will be able to start injury free.”

After captaining Cambridge University at both rugby and cricket, gaining 14 caps for England at rugby and playing for Gloucestershire at county cricket for 10 years, Alastair joined the BBC as a sports commentator. In 1998 he was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease, and he was forced to retire from the BBC in May 2008 at the age of 52 due to his ill health. Most of the drugs which Alastair needs to help ease the pain caused by his illness are not funded by the NHS. His colleague Ian Robertson started the Alastair Hignell Interferon Fund to help buy medical equipment for Alastair and also raise awareness of the disease.

As the fund is in aid of an individual, they do not have an online donation site but you can make cheques payable to The Alastair Hignell Interferon Fund and send them to Alastair Hignell Interferon Fund, National Westminster Bank, Henleaze Branch, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS99 5AR.