Grassroots heroes rewarded by RFU
April 3, 2008
Inner City missionaries, recruitment campaigners and experts in electronic communication were among those rewarded in this season's President's XV awards.
RFU President Bob Taylor invited clubs to apply for a share of £10,500 in prize money by showcasing their commitment to grassroots rugby excellence.
The second season of the awards saw entries rocket from 66 to 158 and clubs from Cockermouth in Cumbria to Stonehouse in Devon were rewarded.
The 15 winners were chosen for using the most innovative ideas to meet the Community Rugby themes of More People, Better Places, Access for All and Enjoyment.
The awards were made by a panel of judges consisting of RFU President Bob Taylor, Senior Vice President Brian Williams, Junior Vice President John Owen, immediate Past President Bob Rogers, RFUW President Gill Burns, England's most-capped player Jason Leonard and Rugby World Editor Paul Morgan.
Taylor said: "The second year of the President's XV awards produced a terrific response from clubs who are safeguarding the future of our great game."
"The imagination and application of tens of thousands of volunteers is making a real impact on rugby at every level and in every part of the country, bringing more people from every walk of life into the game."
"The judges had the very enjoyable task of reviewing an outstanding group of entries and the models of good practice we read about will be shared by the rest of the game."
"It's a pleasure to be able to reward the best of the best and I'm sure many more clubs will be inspired by their examples."
The standards reached by the winners was praised by Owen, also the chairman of the RFU's Community Rugby Standing Committee, who was delighted with recognition for the Cockermouth and Furness clubs from his home county of Cumbria.
Owen said, "As Chairman of Community Rugby it's wonderful to see these examples of what our clubs, schools and colleges do and these awards showed us some of the fantastic work that is taking place."
"Our game has recruited thousands of new players, coaches, referees and volunteers of all ages this season, while we have broken new ground with work in the inner cities and among new communities."
"It is important that we recognise and reward excellence and the President's XV helps us to acknowledge that work on a national scale."
The 13 winners will pick up £500 each and 18 runners-up will collect £100 each, totalling £10,000 being put into the grassroots game.
PRESIDENT'S XV WINNERS AND RUNNERS-UP
1 Seal of Approval Club of the Year: Paviors RFC. Runners-up: North Dorset, Peterborough