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Rugby union converts making a mark in South Yorkshire

16 December 2009

  • Glyn Chandler wins Yorkshire Volunteer of the Year award
  • Andrea Dobson is new RFU Community Rugby Coach for Rotherham

Sheffield RFC's Glyn Chandler collecting his award for South Yorkshire Volunteer of the Year

Photo: RFU Archive

Two dedicated rugby enthusiasts who have crossed from the 13-a-side code to rugby union have been in the South Yorkshire spotlight recently.

Glyn Chandler from Sheffield RUFC was the overall winner from 29 nominations for the title of the South Yorkshire Volunteer of the Year trophy presented recently at an award evening hosted by the Abbeydale club.

The nomination from the Sheffield club described Glyn as the lynchpin of the club for the last five years and outlined his huge contribution across a wide range of activities. These began with coaching and evolved into his role as Chairman of the Mini and Junior Section, but have also embraced running the club shop, liaising with local schools, fundraising, supporting women’s rugby at the club and a host of other activities, many of which enabled Sheffield to achieve the RFU Mini and Youth Seal of Approval.

After a playing career with Sheffield Wharncliffe Rugby League and Rotherham RUFC, he spent some time at Sheffield Tigers before moving to Sheffield, where he has been immersed in the club for a decade.

The new Community Rugby Coach for Rotherham, Andrea Dobson, another former rugby league player and active worker, was also on duty at the gathering, which doubled as the launch of the Rugby Football Union's 'This is Rugby' campaign in South Yorkshire.

This focuses on protecting the game's Core Values and is targeting not only players, but also coaches, administrators, parents and supporters. Object of the exercise is to reinforce the values that have helped rugby union establish an enviable reputation and by doing so attract new recruits and volunteers.

“Rugby is the fastest growing major sport in the country, attracting more people than ever to enjoy a vibrant game as professional and amateur players, volunteers and supporters.” says Andrea, who has played rugby league for England and Wakefield Townville and rugby union for Leeds Metropolitan University and Yorkshire.

"Now the RFU is working to promote the values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship through the 'This is Rugby' campaign which involves everyone from the England team right through to the grassroots game."

Burnley-born Andrea brings a string of coaching qualifications to the post, including a Rugby Union Level 2 award and a Community Sports Leaders Award. She will be based at Thomas Roherham College within the Rawmarsh School Sport Partnership and has been working on a tag rugby programme in the Rotherham Primary Schools and also doing work in some Rotherham Secondary schools.

She added: "I’ve been involved for a few weeks now and I’m really enjoying working with the youngsters. It’s amazing just how quickly they adapt and how much talent they have. I’m loving it."