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Rugby club at HMP The Mount wins President’s XV award

15 May 2012

  • Prison team wins prize in This is Rugby Discipline category
  • Officers and prisoners play together in Saturday side
At right, Willie Wildash RFU President and Cheryl Curtis from QBE present to HMP The Mount RFC

Photo: RFU Archive

HMP The Mount RFC has won an RFU President’s XV Award, supported by QBE, the business insurance specialist.

The Hertfordshire-based club was presented with the ‘This is Rugby Discipline’ Award for introducing rugby and coaching to prisoners, some of whom have never played before. Joining the squad gives prisoners the opportunity to develop their trust and communication skills, playing alongside fellow prisoners and officers.

Now in their sixth year, the RFU President’s XV Awards seek to identify and reward initiatives that promote the development of rugby at a grassroots level. This year the RFU received 274 entries for the competition’s 15 categories.

HMP The Mount RFC was presented with a cheque for £500 and a special trophy by Cheryl Curtis, QBE and Willie Wildash, RFU President.

The RFU President’s XV judging panel comprised RFU President Willie Wildash, Immediate Past President John Owen, Rugby Football Union for Women President Gill Burns, England’s most-capped player Jason Leonard and Sally Rockenbach from QBE.

Helen Harding, PE Officer and rugby coach at HMP The Mount, said: “The club is ecstatic to have been given the ‘This is Rugby’ award and prize money, as we can certainly put it to good use.

“We’re immensely proud of our club and its members, and to be recognised for our efforts is really fantastic.”

Willie Wildash, RFU President, said: “The quality of entries was very high this year and this made life difficult for the panel of judges. All the winners and runners up are doing a great job at the grassroots end of our game, across many important development areas.

“These clubs are the heart and soul of rugby and it’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work put in by all the volunteers involved.”

Elliot Miller, QBE General Manager UK National, commented: “QBE is proud to support the RFU President’s XV Awards once again as part of our commitment to rugby. Initiatives such as this are vital to recognise and reward clubs whose work has helped to develop and strengthen the game at a grassroots level. The ideas put in place here are entrepreneurial and original and will provide inspiration to clubs nationwide”.