Bath Rugby hooker Tom Dunn has won the Vodafone Gain Line Award at the Pickstar RPA Awards 2021 for his off-field endeavours.
The award recognises players embracing their off-field development and those who go above and beyond in their attempts to prepare for life after rugby.
Homegrown Academy graduate Dunn has spent the past few years exploring his options and has gained qualifications in coaching and personal training as well as partaking in work experience in recruitment and IT.
More recently, the 28-year-old has taken an interest in butchery and has dreams to set up butchers in Bath, something that would have come true but for Covid-19.
A passionate man on the field, Dunn has found his calling off it and feels looking to life beyond rugby will aid that step into retirement when the time arrives.
“I take security in it more than enjoyment,” he told the Good, the Bad and the Rugby hosts Alex Payne and James Haskell.
“It’s that leap of faith from rugby to your next career… I want to have one foot already there so it’s not a massive leap and just a step.
“Over the past few years, I’ve done a lot of work experience and more recently I did some work experience in Ruby & White in Bristol as well as some culinary courses at Vale House Kitchen in Timsbury.
“It’s come to the point where we’re very close to having a butchery set up in Bath but unfortunately it fell through recently due to covid and we’re looking for a new location.”
Dunn continued: “Rugby is hard and time consuming, but there is more time than a normal job and there is time available to use. I enjoy being stimulated away from rugby and I enjoy the security of knowing there is something there for me.
“I’ve gone from doing personal training work experience in the Academy to going into a wholesale abattoir and everything in between. I don’t think you can waste any time whether you spend a day doing it or a week doing it, you can take something from it and take it forward.”
Dunn earned his 150th Bath Rugby appearance this season and looks to have many years in the game ahead.
He is already thinking about matchdays at the Rec with his butchers hat on with the name of his new establishment not far away from being decided.
“There are a few ideas floating about for names. Black and White is actually the main one at the minute – you can turn it into Blue, Black and White on game day because hopefully it’ll be in Bath!”
Everyone at the club would like to wish Tom many congratulations on his award.