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RFU President's XV acclaims grassroots initiatives

20 March 2013

  • RFU announces seventh annual President's XV award winners
  • Awards showcase volunteer efforts and work within grassroots clubs
Paul Murphy

Photo: RFU Archive

Fire-walking and fireworks in Nottingham, Guinness record goal-kicking and sheep sales in Alnwick, karaoke and canoeing in Gloucestershire and woolly hats in Sheffield are all part of the rich tapestry that makes the seventh annual RFU President’s XV Awards list such a colourful collection.

Not every winning entry is a piece of theatre or out of left field – many clubs have earned their place in the spotlight and their £500 first prize by sheer hard work and delivery of a simple plan that has addressed a particular need. But the President’s XV Awards were conceived to highlight examples of best practice among grassroots clubs and to showcase both ingenuity and industry in equal measure.

Once again the list of winners and their citations underline how the army of volunteers that sustain the game at grassroots level is packed with people of great resource and even greater energy and dedication.

“The quality and variety of the entries never ceases to amaze me,” said RFU President Paul Murphy. “Picking a winner from so many excellent submissions is a very difficult and challenging task for the panel. Finding the 15 deserving winners and the 30 runners-up from such a list was not easy.

“One intended spin-off from each year’s awards was to showcase some of the best work and most productive ideas that are bringing rich rewards to our clubs and I would recommend every club to have a careful look at the bright ideas and the successful projects which are driving our great game forward.”

The Panel of Judges comprised: Paul Murphy (RFU President), Bob Reeves (RFU Senior Vice President), Jon Dance (RFU Junior Vice President), Willie Wildash (RFU Immediate Past President), Jason Leonard OBE, Gill Burns MBE (former RFUW President), Joe Stanniford (RFU National Youth Council), Owain Jones (Rugby World) and Carole Thelwall-Jones (RFU Volunteer Engagement Manager).

President's XV Awards category results

1. Player Safety & Welfare 
Winner – Eastern Counties RFU; runners-up – Maidstone, Kent, Eccleshall, Staffordshire

2. This is Rugby  
Winner – Wortley, Yorkshire; runners-up – Leek, Staffordshire, Kesteven, Notts, Lincs & Derby

3. Player Recruitment  
Winner – Broadlands-Great Yarmouth, Eastern Counties; runners-up – Wymondham, Eastern Counties, Penrith, Cumbria

4. Player Retention  
Winner – Sheffield, Yorkshire; runners-up – Canterbury Christ Church University, Kew Occasionals, Surrey

5. Girl Power  
Winner – Drybrook, Gloucestershire; runners-up – Jersey, Hampshire, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire

6. Valuing Volunteers  
Winner – Rushden & Highham, East Midlands; runners-up – Crewe and Nantwich, Cheshire, Kent RFU

7. vRugby (Young Volunteers)  
Winner – Tunbridge Wells, Kent; runners-up – Yeovil College, Somerset

8. Quality Coaching  
Winner – Sheffield, Yorkshire; runners-up – Bury St Edmunds, Eastern Counties, Westcombe Park, Kent

9. Better Referees  
Winner – Chelmsford, Essex; runners-up – Eastern Counties Referees' Federation  

10. Better Facilities  
Winner – Farnham, Surrey; runners-up – Guildford, Surrey, Maidenhead, Berkshire

11. Community Engagement  
Winner – Nottingham Moderns, Notts, Lincs & Derby; runners-up – Birmingham Exiles, North Midlands, Leigh, Lancashire

12. School Rugby  
Winner – Westoe, Durham; runners-up – Chineham, Hampshire, Felixtowe, Eastern Counties

13. College Rugby  
Winner – The College of West Anglia; runners-up – Birmingham Metropolitan College, Easton College

14. University Rugby  
Winner – Nottingham University; runners-up – University of Huddersfield, Nottingham Trent University

15. Fundraising  
Winner – Alnwick, Northumberland; runners-up – Farnham, Surrey, Southport, Lancashire