A NEW stand with a wheelchair ramp and parking is set to allow rugby fans easier access to games.

Oxford Quins celebrated the official opening of their 70-seat stand, sponsored by estate agents Penny & Sinclair, with a 41-21 win at home to Stoke on Trent.

READ ALSO: Oxford United Women win first game under new manager

Quins director of rugby Stu Wells said: “Quins’ support base includes many Oxford and Oxfordshire residents who are senior citizens, many of whom live with mobility issues.

“These supporters wanted to attend fixtures and events at Horspath Road, but were sometimes deterred by the inclement weather that occurs from September to April, and by the lack of pitchside seating.

“So, we embarked on a spectator experience project to improve the viewing experience for non-active participants, to encourage all members of the community to engage in community sport, and to benefit from the social and mental health benefits that engagement can afford.”

Chairman Jack Pooler added: “We started a new supporters’ club, reaching out to those members of the community who may experience social isolation, due to age, or mobility issues, and have arranged transport to and from the club.

“This is a very encouraging development and indicative of the impact that the new covered seating area will have in encouraging people to visit the area, to attend sporting events, particularly at a time of year when visitor numbers are traditionally down.

“We’re now embarking on the next phase of the spectator experience project with new facilities and concessions planned to make a visit to Oxford Quins rewarding and most importantly, accessible to all without charge.”