As part of Premiership Rugby’s annual end of season awards, league sponsor Gallagher will be looking to name their Gallagher Community Player of the Season 2019/20.
With one nominee from each club, we wanted you, our supporters, to have the final say in who Bath Rugby puts forward to represent the Blue, Black and White. Read on for your choices…
Flying wing Ruaridh McConnochie entrusted the clippers to housemate Max Clark during lockdown to #BravetheShave and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Former 7s teammate AJ Davis, who has done a lot of work with cancer charities, brought the cause to Ruaridh’s attention during lockdown and the crisis faced by the NHS. He raised close to £30,000 for the Macmillan, as well as raising awareness about the amazing work done by the cancer charity.
Not only this, but Ruaridh has volunteered for two years with Give Us A Shout, the confidential text service that helps people in crisis. As one of the 2000-strong trained volunteer group, Ruaridh supports Give Us A Shout by responding to messages and helping people in distress.
He says: “We try to be that open, non-judgmental space for people to text in. There was a lot of anxiety during lockdown with people uncertain about their jobs and their futures. It’s good to be there as a sounding board.”
When lockdown started, Bath Rugby Club Captain Charlies Ewels got in touch with Bath Rugby Foundation CEO Lynne Fernquest to find out how he and the playing squad could support Bath Rugby’s charity.
He was the first to step forward and sign up to Bath Rugby Foundation’s Sponsor a Student campaign, which sees individuals and businesses sponsor a participant to help with the extra things they may need to learn of find a job – bus fare, interview clothes and even a daily meal.
In fact, when participants on Bath Rugby Foundation’s Advantage programme needed smart shoes for job interviews, Charlie donated two pairs of his own.
Bath Rugby’s first match following lockdown was Charlie’s 100th for the club. Ahead of the match against London Irish he got in touch and offered his shirt from the match to the Foundation to help raise funds. The shirt raffle, promoted by Charlie and the squad across social media, raised more than £1,200 for the Club’s charity.
Charlie also recently joined the ranks of #BraveTheShave, as some of you may have noticed during the match against Wasps!
Last up is Ruaridh’s housemate Max Clark. During lockdown, the centre reached out to the Bath Rugby Foundation to ask if he could volunteer his time to support the charity.
Max gave up a full day to travel across Bath and North East Somerset to visit members of the Foundation’s Mixed Ability rugby squad. The team, part of Premiership Rugby’s Project Rugby programme, had been due to travel to Spain on their first ever international rugby tour, before the Covid-19 pandemic caused it to be cancelled.
Foundation coach Dan Hine was due to check in with the participants and deliver their tour kit – which had been donated by Bath Rugby and was to be a surprise reveal on tour. Max offered his time to accompany Dan on the (socially distanced) visits, spending the day chatting to participants, taking pictures and handing out full playing kits, prompting one participant to share their “the best day ever” on social media!
Cast your vote now!