Fixtures - Top Bar

Bristol Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Saracens and Worcester Warriors carry off national awards

Julie Elliott, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, insisted the outstanding work carried out by all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs is making a huge difference in their local communities.

The MP for Sunderland Central was speaking as participants across England were being honoured at the glittering Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards ceremony, staged at the House of Commons on Thursday.

Now in their 11th year, the Awards celebrate the wide range of development work that the Premiership Rugby clubs deliver locally through ground-breaking schemes such as Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro and Urban Rugby Squad.

From sports participation to education, health and social inclusion, Premiership Rugby is using rugby to change lives and tackle some of England's most challenging agendas.

Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards winners:

Young Achiever of the Year award – Chelsea Parker, Worcester Warriors
Volunteer of the Year award – Nicole Talbot, Gloucester Rugby
PLAY award – Bristol Rugby’s Eagle Project
BreakThru award – Saracens’ Sarrie's RFC programme

Gloucester Rugby’s Nicole Talbot was named Premiership Rugby’s Volunteer of the Year, while the Young Achiever of the Year went to Worcester Warriors’ HITZ ambassador Chelsea Parker.

Saracens’ Sarrie's RFC programme received the BreakThru Award gong, while Bristol Rugby’s Eagle Project scooped the PLAY Award.

Elliott tipped her cap to all the winners and the schemes themselves for helping participants reach new heights both on and off the rugby pitch.

"The diversity, reach and impact of Premiership Rugby’s community programming is superb," she said.

"I applaud the work the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs do with their local communities and disadvantaged groups.

"I also want to highlight the volunteers and young people who have been recognised in these awards for their efforts and achievements.

"The Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards celebrate how professional rugby is a positive force for good, impacting the lives of 310,000 participants globally each year through rugby participation and personal development. Rugby is truly changing lives."

Volunteer of the year Talbot was selected for the gong for her contribution to wheelchair rugby in Gloucester, where she dedicates over six hours per week to helping organise the team.

They now compete in the National League Division 2, as well as a related community project which reached over 400 young people in the 2015-16 season, and Asian Sports Foundation chairman Jug Johal admitted Talbot’s massive impact had made her story sparkle.

"Nicole has been right at the heart of the project," he said. "She is helping individuals with their specific needs, co-ordinating club activity, building confidence, organising events and showing that rugby can have a transformative impact on the lives of individuals."

Worcester Warriors’ HITZ ambassador Parker won the Young Achiever award after she overcame a host of personal problems.

The Award seeks to reward a young participant who has ‘made the most’ from one of Premiership Rugby’s initiatives, and the Movember Foundation’s Emily Cramp believes Parker had done just that.

She said: "Chelsea has had to overcome some very serious obstacles in a short space of time, and the huge progress she has made makes her the perfect recipient.

"She made some bad choices early on but she has since shown she is willing to learn from those and also teach others not to follow those paths, which is a major accomplishment."

BreakThru winner Saracens were rewarded for their Sarrie's RFC project which has empowered young people with disabilities to improve mental health and wellbeing by focussing on the ability of disabled bodies, championing inclusivity and creating opportunity.

Comic Relief’s grants manager for sports change Lisa Bedding was impressed by the programme’s work with young people with autism, and improving both their physical and mental health.

"They had identified a very specific local need and had developed a programme that responded to that," she said.
"In my job I fund a range of projects and I was really impressed by the quality of the Saracens programme, it is a really great example of how rugby is being used to promote social change."

Bristol Rugby won the PLAY Award after their Eagle Project impressed the three-strong judging panel by increasing participation in the girls’ and ladies’ game in the Bristol area.

Rachel Zaltzman, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s head of programmes, said the Eagle Project shows positives signs for expansion.

"The project is smart, sustainable and scalable," she said. "If they have additional funding I think it could go right across the area and really deliver rugby for girls from school, into their communities and up to a county and national level.

"They are going for a real end-to-end approach, working in schools and taking them through to clubs, forging a great retention rate in girls playing through their own initiative."

Latest News

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey

Gloucester Rugby make just one change for trip to Bath

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that triumphed in La Rochelle last weekend, making just one…

Mariano Galarza

Exeter Chiefs side to face Northampton Saints

Rob Baxter says it’s vital his Exeter Chiefs grasp every opportunity afforded to them as they look to maintain their…

Gareth Steenson

Leicester Tigers team news for final home game

Graham Kitchener and Adam Thompstone will make their 100th starting appearances in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the final home…

Adam Thompstone

Team News for Bristol Rugby to face Saracens

Olly Robinson returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Rugby face reigning Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday (3pm KO). The…

Olly Robinson

Four Changes For Sharks Ahead of Tigers Clash

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Leicester Tigers this Saturday at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership…

Josh Charnley

Callum Chick not given up on top-six finish for Newcastle Falcons

Promising Newcastle Falcons flanker Callum Chick hasn't given up on helping his side qualify for a Champions Cup place next…

Jack Singleton still buzzing after baptism of fire at Worcester Warriors

Jack Singleton admits he never expected to get as much Aviva Premiership Rugby game time as he has had this…

Saracens sign Wales international lock Dominic Day

Saracens have completed the signing of Wales international lock forward Dominic Day for the for the upcoming 2017/18 season. 31-year…

Dominic Day

Tom Heathcote extends his stay at Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Scotland international Tom Heathcote has put pen to paper on a new contract…

Tom Heathcote

Minimum standards criteria results

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has considered the findings of an independent audit report of the Greene King IPA Championship…

World Rugby welcomes Berlin Consensus Statement on concussion in sport

Expert group publishes comprehensive review of scientific papers on concussion Rugby continues to be aligned with recommended best practice Cross-sport…

Mark Lambert issues rallying call for Harlequins’ top-six push

A third season in a row without top flight European rugby is not an option for a club of Harlequins’…

Gloucester’s Henry Trinder: Top-six place at stake adds to West Country derby

Gloucester will be travelling to The Rec for their West Country derby against Bath in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday…

Henry Trinder