Bath Rugby stars, Olympians Amy Williams and Heather Fell and Bath's business community came out in force last night to help celebrate the annual Bath Rugby Foundation Awards.
The event, which took place at The Assembly Rooms, celebrated the work of the Bath Rugby Foundation across the local community over the last 12 months and recognised the successes of the many children and partners with whom they work. With former Bath Rugby players David Flatman and Lee Mears as Masters of Ceremonies for the night, the evening was, as always, full of laughter and even a few tears.
The achievements of all who have taken part in the Foundation's award-winning Education and Inclusion programmes, from children and young people through to volunteers and teachers, were celebrated. As were the successes of the Bath Rugby Foundation's Apprentices and the many volunteers who help make the Bath Rugby Up&Unders programme so popular with children and parents alike. Uniquely this year, The Fundraiser of the Year Award was not given to one individual but to the entire John O'Groats to Land's End Cycle Team, who have recently completed the gruelling nine-day challenge and, incredibly, raised well over £90,000.
While recognising that a number of Bath Rugby players give an enormous amount of their time to many of Bath Rugby Foundation programmes, becoming positive role models to all the young people they work with, the Bath Rugby Foundation Player of the Year Award was this year awarded to Olly Woodburn.
The biggest awards of the evening were the Community Achievement Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Community Achievement Award was received by Sonia Hutchinson, CEO of the BaNES Carers' Centre, presented by Bob Crampton of ITV West. While the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Pam Burke, who has recently left Bath Rugby and has been involved in and instrumental to the success of The Bath Rugby Foundation since its inception.
Guest speaker on the night was Headmaster of Combe Down Primary School, Richard Bullard, who talked about his experience of working with the Bath Rugby Foundation. While Olympic star Amy Williams made a special appearance on stage to present a certificate to one young man, Matty Murrell from Court Mills Trowbridge, who had shown incredible dedication and improvement in an Inclusive fitness programme.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, The Bath Rugby Foundation is an independent charity, entirely funded by grants and donations from businesses and individuals. They deliver award-winning Education and Inclusion programmes through sport that enhance the lives of children and young people, in particular those who have social and other disadvantages.
Full details of all the awards, winners and presenters are as follows:
ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION AWARD
- Presenter: Mark Barnett, Operations Director of the Consortium
- Winner: Alfie Ellis
TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Presenter: Carl Fearns, Bath Rugby Player
- Winner: Bob Tucker, YMCA trainer and HITZ teacher
RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENT – BATH RUGBY FOUNDATION APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME
- Presenter: Peter Wragg, Chair of Bath Rugby Foundation Trustees
- Bath Rugby Apprentices: Joe Aygul, Faith McEleny, Henry Polson
FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Presenter: Bill Vasilieff, Novia
- Winner: John O'Groats to Land's End Cycle Team
UP&UNDERS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Presenters: Luke Brady, Savills (Sponsor of Up&Unders) and four Up & Unders participants (Jeremy Hewett, Patrick Hewett, Finley Kandavanam Lovell and Oscar Sawyer)
- Winners: Jordan Archer, Claudia Harvey, Becks Toan, Aaliyah Williams
BATH RUGBY FOUNDATION PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Presenter: Lizzie Heffer, Thrings
- Winner: Olly Woodburn
ACHIEVEMENT IN INCLUSION AWARD
- Presenter: Mike Pearce, Herman Miller
- Winner: Hannah Piper
INCLUSION LEADER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- Presenter: Mat Gilbert, Bath Rugby Player
- Winner: Steve Bancroft
RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENT – HITZ PROGRAMME
- Presenter: Ben Williams, Bath Rugby Player
- Winners: Josh Burton, Chantelle Cesar, Luke Dix, Nick Marwood, Rhys Sheppard.
RECOGNITION OF ACHIEVEMENT – GET ACTIVE INTO WORK
- Presenters: Louise Harvey, St. John's Hospital and Lynda Deane, BANES Council
- Winners: Terry Clifford, Tash Hawes, Callum Linton, Jay Longstaff, Marc Pacfico, Tristan Stuart, Becks Toan
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
- Presenter: Bob Crampton, ITV West
- Winner: Sonia Hutchinson
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
- Presenters: Lee Mears, David Flatman and Jimmy Deane
- Winner: Pam Burke