BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year nominees announced

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Falcons Move Like a Pro participant in the running for parliamentary award

Representatives of Bath Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and Wasps are all up for Premiership Rugby’s BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year award supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group On Rugby Union as community rugby programmes continue to transform lives on and off the pitch.

Newcastle Falcons Move Like a Pro participant John Mew has been nominated after completing the 12-week men’s health programme at Kingston Park Stadium and making significant progress with both physical and mental health challenges.

A former Royal Navy PT instructor, Mew battled with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression for over 30 years following the 1982 Falklands War, during which he served aboard the destroyer HMS Coventry.

It has been a battle that has placed enormous strains onto both the man’s physical and mental health, but one that has seen John make huge progress in, since joining onto the Move Like a Pro men’s health programme.

Taking part in the weekly sessions have been a key driver in John taking a more positive view on life and to become more physically healthy. He has been able to interact with and meet new people, reacquaint with old friends and regain the feeling of camaraderie that he used to enjoy when serving in the Navy.

Move Like a Pro has also inspired the man into taking on a personal physical challenge in the shape of the Fan Dance race over the Brecon Beacons.
A gruelling 24km SAS Selection test march staged over Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons.

The infamous march is the world's oldest Special Forces test and one that John will aim to complete in under four hours, whilst raising money for armed forces charities SSAFA and Forward Assist and to raise awareness of PTSD.

Through the links he has built with the club by being part of the Move Like a Pro programme, John has also been supported with the nutritional demands of his training for the challenge by the Falcons’ official partner Nutrition X and with the physical demands by members of the Falcons backroom staff.

Currently almost three-quarter fo the way to his £3,500 target, donations can be made by clicking here

One of the award’s judges, Greggs Foundation Manager Tracy Lynch, is predicting an extremely close race between the trio of candidates ahead of the winner being announced on Wednesday 11 July.

The Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards 2018 take place at the House of Commons next month with a specially-selected panel picking the recipient of the BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year award, which recognises participants who have excelled in any education, health or social inclusion programme.

Every year hundreds of people up and down the country give their time to help run Premiership Rugby initiatives such as – but not limited to – Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, Project Rugby and Move Like A Pro.

From going the extra mile to help youngsters in the local help helping more girls and women get into the game, these ground-breaking schemes all seek to help the community reach new heights both on and off the rugby pitch.

And Tracy was amazed at the inspirational stories that were submitted, with the three shortlisted all more than deserving of the prestigious award.

She said: “It is fabulous to see the commitment made to support so many people in the direct and wider community of all the Premiership Rugby clubs.

“I hadn’t realised the connection to the grassroots-level clubs and it makes it all the more accessible to everyone when you can take part in programmes just around the corner.

“I always think rugby is a great leveller – all shapes and sizes play (and watch) so that makes it seem more accessible for everyone to take part.”

Shortlist for BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year award: • Tom Clifford of Bath Rugby • John Mew of Newcastle Falcons • Michael Corney of Wasps

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