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North Dorset RFC nominated for prestigious award

02 January 2007

January 2nd, 2006 -

North Dorset RFC has been nominated for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

The Gillingham-based club have been put forward for the award which  recognises the vital role played by the hundreds of thousands of �unsung heroes' of the voluntary and community world and emphasises the importance of continuing recognition of their work.

North Dorset RFC was first established in 1951 and since then it has a thriving membership of 853, running 19 teams from seven-year-olds to veterans and girls' sides. To run so many teams the club have relied heavily on its band of enthusiastic volunteers which includes 107 members and a committee of 26.

The club are also heavily involved in promoting rugby within the community and have established strong links with local schools Gillingham School, Shaftesbury School and Sports College and Port Regis School. Not only do they provide facilities for the schools to use, but also they provide coaches, referees and host rugby festivals whilst at the same time encouraging family involvement and good behaviour.

Club chairman Stephen Keates said: "Our core aim is to encourage community involvement through rugby to groups and individuals who would otherwise be hard to reach. The club is a community rugby club open to all."

North Dorset, who were also recently awarded the Rugby Football Union's Seal of Approval which is a �clubmark' based on evidence that children, young people and their parents are provided with a quality experience in a safe, well organised environment, will find out in June if their nomination has been successful.