Blyth RFC volunteer represents the Falcons in first Community Champion Award
The unsung heroes of grassroots rugby will be recognised tomorrow as the inaugural Community Champion Award is presented.
New for 2014, the Community Champion Award supported by Land Rover will reward a person who has delivered significant social change or support in their community.
Potential recipients are those who has taken an active role in a grassroots club linked to a Premiership Rugby club, someone who has been a mentor to a club social inclusion programme participant, or a volunteer who has shown exceptional commitment over the course of the year.
The national Community Champion Award winner will be selected from the Premiership Rugby club nominees below, that were unveiled earlier in the week and will be announced at an award ceremony hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group in the prestigious Members' Dining Room at the House of Commons.
Community Champion Nominees • Jimmy Deane - Bath Rugby • Will Rattray - Harlequins • Jonathan Barker - London Irish • Nikki Worsdell - London Wasps • Max Proud - Newcastle Falcons • Pennie Crow and Neil Chater - Northampton Saints • Peter Gore - Sale Sharks • Chris Durward-Akhurst - Saracens
Max Proud, the Falcon’s shortlisted Community Champion, says “I am very shocked to be nominated for the award! I enjoy all of the work that I do on behalf of Blyth Rugby and our relationship with Newcastle Falcons is very important to us, we support each other in a fantastic way, for example having Carl Hayman come to coach at Blyth was an amazing experience. I have had many years of enjoyment out of rugby and find this is the best way to put that back in for others.”
The All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group Premiership Rugby Awards, now in their ninth year, feature four different categories: the Play Award supported by the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, the BreakThru Award supported by TNT Express, the Community Impact Award supported by Aviva and, new for 2014, the Community Champion Award supported by Land Rover.
The awards will be attended by a number of MPs, commercial partners and Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson.
"Land Rover is committed to supporting grassroots rugby through programmes such as the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup, Premiership Rugby Academies and HITZ. As such we are proud to be able to partner with the Premiership Rugby Community Champion Award,” said Richard Duncan, Sponsorship and Partnership Manager, Land Rover UK.
"The award recognises the crucial and important work that often goes unseen during the rugby season, so it is vital that we recognise these contributions to both the game and our local communities.”
"Choosing a shortlist for the Community Champion Award proved very difficult, with so many worthy nominees,” said Sarah Mockford, Community Champion judge and Rugby World deputy editor.
"It's great to see professional clubs recognising those who help to drive rugby forward at an amateur level."
The awards will take place on Thursday 3rd July 2014, keep one eye on the website for the results!
To find out more about Premiership Rugby's community work, please visit premiershiprugby.com/community