Bath Rugby has been nominated for three prizes at next month’s Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
With the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards taking place at the House of Commons on Tuesday 4 July, a specially-selected panel faced the daunting task of whittling down the nominations to a final three for the prestigious gong that recognises those who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through their passion, determination and dedication.
Every year hundreds of people up and down the country give their time to help run Premiership Rugby initiatives such as – but not limited to – Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro, and Urban Rugby Squad.
From going the extra mile to help youngsters in the local area, to getting more girls and women get into the game, these ground-breaking schemes all seek to help the community reach new heights both on and off the rugby pitch.
There are four awards up for grabs at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards with a Bath representative in all but the BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year category.
Ian Rudge and Leo Gladwell-Spencer are in line for the BREAKTHRU and PLAY Achiever of the Year awards, while Vicky Irwin has been nominated for the Community Coach of the Year and Paula Bradbury could walk away with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
And one of the seven-strong judging panel Dolly Theis, from the Centre for Social Justice, was amazed at the inspirational stories that were submitted for each prize.
“It was absolutely fascinating to read about so many inspiring people and judging the winner for all categories was really tough,” she said.
“Working in social justice it was incredible to read about how rugby and sport in general has helped transform people’s lives on and off the field.
“Sport plays a massive part in improving mental health and that was certainly the case when looking at all the candidates.
“Each one had their own inspiring story and they would all be worthy winners.”
Husband-and-wife duo Janet and John Miles’ work at with Bath Rugby’s High 5! Sports Club, a community multi-sport club for young people with educational needs, saw them recognised for the Volunteer of the Year award.
Todd Burge has been involved with Bath Rugby Foundation for the past four years. He comes from an unsettled background and used Urban Rugby Squad as a release, and helps to coach on some of the disability programmes, earning up a nod for the PLAY Achiever of the Year award.
And Joe Aygul was nominated for the Community Coach of the Year award for his influence in helping a number of programmes to flourish in Bath, as well as his willingness to act as a mentor for young people.
The winner of the award will be announced on Tuesday 4 July at the illustrious Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards at the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons, and on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use the hashtag #RugbyChangingLives to join the conversation
The judging panel:
Heather Taylor (Sport England), Lisa Bedding (Comic Relief), Dolly Theis (Centre for Social Justice), Suzy Christopher (BT Charity & Community Director), Matt Mitchell (Wooden Spoon), Heather Smith (Women in Sport) and Ross McKinley (Premier League).