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Northwich celebrate Community Club of Year Award

09 December 2005

Northwich Rugby Union Football Club is celebrating after this week scooping the prestigious ''Sport England Community Club of the Year Award'' at the BBC North West Sports Awards.

The event, which took place at the Midland hotel in Manchester, attracted a number of high profile stars, including Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard, Boxing superstar Amir Khan, along with players from Premiership teams including Manchester City and Wigan Athletic.

Simon Bridle (Junior Club Chairman) and Sam Naylor (Club Chairman) from Northwich RUFC took to the stage to accept the award from Carole Hassan, member of the North West Sports Board.  On receiving the award Junior Chairman Simon Bridle said: "Obviously, this is a huge honour for the club and we are thrilled to bits to receive it. Although only two of us could be present to receive this honour I would like to thank all the club"s helpers, volunteers and sponsors for their support and encouragement.

"I would like to take this opportunity of saying a special thanks however, to club members Ken Houghton, Kevin Jones and Phil Clarke. Collectively they have helped direct and prioritise the clubs efforts in the last three years, which in turn have led to this award.

"I can only guess that the judges were impressed by not only the range, but the depth of activities the club have and continue to offer in our community. This has included providing the opportunity to play both rugby and tag rugby, for girls and boys of all ages as well to men and now women's teams. "

Northwich Rugby Union Football Club has had a great year. The club was awarded Sport Cheshire's Community Club of the Year for the third year running and was one of nine clubs out of a possible 1,800 to receive a government sponsored �Volunteer of the Year' award. Club membership continued to swell and new women's and girls' teams were established thanks to good school and college contacts, both of which have performed well in their respective leagues, with the ladies winning promotion at the first attempt.  

Sport England, the body that promotes and invests in community sport, sponsored the award to highlight the amazing achievements being made by clubs involved in sport at the grass roots level.

Stewart Kellett, Regional Director for Sport England North West said: " At Sport England we aim to give people of all ages and abilities the chance to start, stay and succeed in sport and physical activity at every level. 

"It's great to see the likes of Wigan Athletic Football Club and Liverpool Football Club getting recognised for their performance at the top level, but it's equally as important to recognise the achievements of smaller, grass roots club that are vital to developing the stars of the future.

"I'd like to congratulate Northwich RUFC on winning the award and all the nominees for their fantastic achievements."