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Inspirational volunteers recognised in South Yorkshire

06 December 2013

  • Doncaster Phoenix RUFC’s Dave Townend named “South Yorkshire Volunteer of the Year”
  • Volunteers go extra mile to help their club achieve success
Dave Townend from Doncaster Phoenix RUFC named South Yorkshire Volunteer of the Year

Photo: RFU Archive

Doncaster Phoenix RUFC’s Dave Townend was named “Volunteer of the Year” at the South Yorkshire Volunteer Awards, hosted by Wath Upon Dearne RUFC last month (November).

The awards evening has been created by the Yorkshire RFU and the RFU to reward and recognise the special volunteers who go the extra mile to help their club achieve success.

Townend was described by his club as “an instrumental figure in the running and rise of Doncaster Phoenix”.

“Dave has served as Treasurer now for the last 'umpteen' years. That, however, is merely his day job and he is also heavily involved with match days, be it organising and arranging kit, running touch or entertaining guests.

“His efforts often go unrewarded but without him Doncaster Phoenix would not be in the healthy position it is today.”

Townend was presented with his award by South Yorkshire Chairman Tony McNally (both pictured above).

Elsewhere, Noel Senior (Yorkshire Schools Rugby Football Union and Doncaster RFC) picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award for his loyal and industrious support of junior rugby in South Yorkshire for over 40 years.

Chris Ross won recognition for his ‘Contribution to Coaching’ at Dinnington RUFC’s recently established Ladies Section, whose sessions are now attended by over 30 women.

The extensive work performed by Ash Hill Academy teacher Lee Bullock in the RFU All Schools Programme earned him the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Education Rugby” trophy.

Lee was described as the “driving force behind getting rugby union up and running at the school with over 30 children attending after school rugby sessions.”

Robin Goodliffe, a referee with a glittering career and a track record in developing new referees,  was recognised for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Refereeing,’ whilst the ‘Service to Rugby’ and ‘Unsung Hero’ awards went to Howard Harris (Barnsley RUFC) and Steve Brown (Wortley RUFC) respectively.

And the future of Yorkshire rugby looks to be in safe hands as 17 year-old George Marriott from Rotherham Clifton RUFC beat off stiff competition for the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ title.

South Yorkshire Chairman Tony McNally commented: “The standard of nominees was excellent and encompassed a wide range of people from a 17-year-old to an 84-year-old. It was great to see people who have just got involved in rugby clubs to those like Noel and Harry who were recognised for their service to rugby over 50 years or more.”

“I would also like to thank RFU Rugby Development Officer Jonathan Rickerby, who has played an instrumental role in getting more people playing the game and involved in the clubs. Every time someone has a question he is there providing advice and leading the way from clubs to universities, backed up by a strong South Yorkshire Management Team.”