Bath Rugby stars and Bath’s business community came together last night in an evening of celebration at Bath Rugby Foundation’s annual awards night. The fourth awards night, which took place at The Assembly Rooms in Bath, honoured the achievements of hundreds of youngsters in the local community who have participated in, and benefited from, the many projects delivered by the Foundation team.
It was a fantastic evening for all those involved, and a clear demonstration of what happens at the very heart of Bath Rugby Foundation. The projects celebrated covered sport, education and inclusion. It is through these projects that the Foundation aims to enhance the lives of young people through sport, to motivate them and to raise self-esteem. Last night, all the children who have been outstanding in their work were invited to celebrate their achievements.
Over 250 people watched as the children were awarded medals and certificates for the three major categories: Sport, Inclusion and Education – with the winner of each group receiving a trophy. Further awards were given to: Foundation Player of the Year (the Bath Rugby player who have given his time to assist the Foundation’s projects); Teacher and Volunteer of the Year; a Community Award; and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The awards were presented by: Peter Wragg (Chair of Trustees, Bath Rugby Foundation); Melanie Barnett; Paul Pritchard of Wiltshire Council; Councillor Jonathon Seed; Councillor Martin Veal; Duncan McKillop of Moneywise IFA Ltd; Simon Holdsworth of Thrings LLP; David Goodhall of Barclays; Paul Parry of Novia; Oliver Bond of Herman Miller; former Bath Rugby player Matt Perry; and Bath Rugby players George Ford and Tom Dunn.
The evening included a Q&A with Stuart Doughty, one third of The Real MdS team who ran 150 miles across the Sahara desert whilst fundraising for three charities, and a screening of the HITZ promotional video highlighting the work of the award-winning Premiership Rugby programme.
Bath Rugby Foundation co-founder Jimmy Deane, who moved on from the Foundation this year, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the local community. Jimmy set up Bath Rugby Foundation over 10 years ago and helped it grow into the wonderful charity it is today, enhancing the lives of young people in the local area through sport.
For the third year running, Go Live Events Limited sponsored the event and Rob Uphill, Managing Director, said: "We are delighted to have been involved in producing Bath Rugby Foundation Awards this evening. It has been a real privilege supporting the hardworking team behind the scenes of the Foundation, as well as helping celebrate the achievements of the wonderful people who benefit from the Foundations projects and the numerous volunteers that make it all happen – congratulations to them all."
Thanks also go to Herman Miller for their generosity in supporting the evening and to Minuteman Press and Taking Pictures (Sport) Ltd.
Halena Coury, Head of Fundraising, said: “The evening was a wonderful celebration of Bath Rugby Foundation’s work over the past twelve months. The nominees in particular were an inspiration to everyone present. The hardest part of the process was choosing just a handful of winners from the thousands of fantastic people we are lucky enough to work with every year.”
Achievement in Inclusion – Brandon Head
Achievement in Education – Jemma Earley
Volunteer of the Year – Becks Toan
Fundraiser of the Year – The Real MdS
Foundation Player of the Year – Mat Gilbert
Community Award – Doug Gibbs
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jimmy Deane