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Wortley RFC's mini and junior section honoured

17 April 2014

  • Wortley awarded Dennis Cobbold Memorial Shield
  • Skipton and Old Crossleyans also recognised
Holly Evans, Assistant Safeguarding Officer at Wortley RUFC and Donna Stevens, Safeguarding Officer at Wortley RUFC

Photo: RFU Archive

Wortley RFC has been directing a huge amount of effort and resource into its mini and junior section in recent seasons and that focus on youth has earned the club the Dennis Cobbold Memorial Shield, awarded annually by the Yorkshire RFU.

The honour goes to the club whose mini/junior section has been outstanding in the provision of a safe, secure environment in which young people develop and play the game.

As well as the main prize going to Wortley, honourable mentions were given to Old Crossleyans RFC for their development work with their age grade section and Skipton RFC for maintaining high standards over a number of seasons.

But Barnsley-based club Wortley were singled out because of the outstanding contribution of safeguarding officer Donna Stevens who, earlier in the season, was also nominated for the Unsung Hero award at the South Yorkshire Volunteer Awards.

Praising Donna’s contribution, Wortley’s honorary secretary Steve Brown said: “She has never had to be asked to do anything – invariably if something needs doing she has thought about it first and is doing it. She volunteered to take on the unrewarding and difficult role of safeguarding officer. She has raised the profile of this issue within the club and encouraged others in the role.

“Donna is the welcoming face of Wortley to new parents and friendly face to all the children that play at Wortley,” he added. “She is very much the oil in the machine and our unsung hero.”

The Dennis Cobbold Memorial Trophy was donated by the Cobbold family in memory of Dennis, a great worker for Yorkshire rugby, and embodies the core values of the game – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship – that Dennis worked so hard to promote. It was presented to Wortley ahead of the Yorkshire Under 15 and Under 16 Cup finals earlier this month.

Nominations for the award are gathered from a wide range of sources from around Yorkshire, including Rugby Development personnel, District Safeguarding Managers and County Officials based on their knowledge of and work with clubs.

Those recommendations can embody a variety of themes, but all are related to creating and maintaining a safe, caring environment in which young people can be introduced to the game and flourish within it.