Christmas came early at Greenfields Special School and Sports College as the Saints made their annual festive visit for an afternoon packed with excitement and entertainment.
The whole squad descended on the College in Northampton and as well as running the youngsters through a number of rugby activities, the Saints players and coaches also got a taste of what the school offers on a day to day basis.
That included face painting, nail painting, sensory activities and sign-singing to the festive favourite ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ by Band Aid.
Greenfields provides a specialist environment for students with severe learning difficulties and associated sensory, physical, communication and behavioural difficulties. Head teacher Lisa Atack was delighted by a day that was mutually inspiring for both parties.
"They [the Saints] are real role models and a lot of the children here at the school are great Saints fans," she told SaintsTV. "To have them here at the school, joining in with the activities has just been fantastic.
"It adds excitement to their day and I know that there are lots of staff who have been lifted today by having the Saints here too.
"I think it’s also exciting for the players because they get to do activities that they probably wouldn’t normally do. Hopefully they’ve learnt something from the signing as well and can take that away with them!"
It was the Saints players themselves who arranged the visit through the club’s community department and club captain Dylan Hartley explained their reasons.
"We got together a while back as a squad and agreed that we wanted to be the most charitable team in the Premiership," Hartley commented. "That’s not for the media or publicity. We want to do it for ourselves and for our community.
"Northampton is our town and it’s humbling on days like this to see the reception we get and the joy we can spread."
The Saints’ Christmas visits continue next week when a group, led by Hartley, will be delivering presents to the Disney Ward at Northampton General Hospital.