December 7, 2005 -
Warrant Officer David Smith, WO AES RAF Benson, has been recognised for his work in rugby, receiving a Year of the Volunteer Award for commitment to the sport.
WO Smith was presented with his award, a medal coined by the Royal Mint, at the County Hall in Oxford by HM Lord-Lieutenant for Oxfordshire Hugh Brunner.
The Year of the Volunteer 2005 awards celebrates and honours the amazing work carried out every day by volunteers in England. WO Smith's award was for the category recognising volunteers who have shown true dedication, carrying out essential but not perhaps inspiring work with little thanks or obvious reward.
WO Smith is perhaps the most well known of all serving personnel in rugby circles having dedicated much of his life in supporting the Royal Air Force Rugby Union and youth rugby in particular.
He has given up nearly every weekend from August to May for the last 15 years to ensure the smooth running of youth rugby. His dedication and commitment is not only constrained to youth rugby - he organises the annual RAF 7-a-side competition which involves a massive behind the scenes effort. Moreover he is also the driving force behind the RAF's U-21 and chairman's teams' participation in the international floodlit competition in Cyprus. He procures all RAF rugby kit, as well as giving up further weekend time to provide support to the Combined Services Youth Rugby Team.
The award citation said: "David Smith's contribution has been unprecedented in rugby circles and in developing tomorrow's youth. He is a shining example to all who know him, and his commitment is simply unparalleled."