Fixtures - Top Bar

Bristol Rugby, Harlequins and Saracens shortlisted for national award

Three innovative programmes have been shortlisted for the prestigious PLAY award ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.

An innovative wheelchair rugby programme, one that inspires young people and a project focussing on participation in the women’s and girls game have made their way onto a shortlist of Premiership Rugby’s PLAY Award that recognises projects that encourage rugby participation in across the full spectrum of social groups in England.

It is designed to improve standards, promote inclusivity and increase involvement among those groups not traditionally active in rugby.

The judging panel for the PLAY award chaired by Kenny Brown, PLAY – Development Manager, Premiership Rugby included Ben McGregor, RPA, David Mullen, Ernst & Young, Jug Johal, Asian Sports Foundation, Monika Orolinova, Ricoh.

The panel managed to whittle the entries down to a short-list of three that are all doing a fantastic job of promoting rugby union.

The full shortlist for the PLAY award is:

  • Bristol Rugby’s Eagle Project
  • Harlequins’ Wheelchair Rugby coaching programme
  • Saracens’ BLAST

The Harlequins Foundation teamed up with Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby to deliver a six-week coaching programme with the end goal being participation in the inaugural BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 15 Community Festival held at the Copper Box, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Bristol Rugby’s Eagle project increased participation in the girls and ladies’ game in Bristol by engaging with those not traditionally involved in sports at carefully chosen secondary schools using innovative methods and creating partnerships with locals clubs.

Saracens’ BLAST programme has inspired young people to develop teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship, respect and honesty through rugby participation and is now in its fourth year, working across 22 schools in North London.

David Mullen of EY’s Economic Advisory Team was handed the difficult task of distinguishing between these three outstanding candidates, with the winner set to be revealed on 7 July at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
He said: "We looked at how many bodies were involved, the degrees of partnership, the sustainability of the programmes, their ability to impact people during the designated timescale and their potential to deliver lasting change.  

"The game itself clearly has the ability to deliver health benefits – mental as well as physical – but it must inspire people, give them the opportunity to develop as individuals and provide a pathway for the future.

"It wasn’t just about people coming together for a day and having a great time, it was equally about changing perceptions and helping grow the game going forward.

"The winners were particularly inclusive. It was about giving the opportunity for large groups of people to get involved in rugby in different ways and in ways that suited them."

The winner of the award will be announced on Thursday 7 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.

Latest News

Meet Sale Sharks’ Curry twins – Ben and Tom

When Tom and Ben Curry travel with the England squad to Argentina, they will be looking to claim a record…

Ben and Tom Curry

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens make final as Bath fall short

Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens are into their third European Rugby Champions Cup final in four years after defying a…

Karl Dickson to retire at the end of the season

Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson has today (Monday 24th April) announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of…

Karl Dickson

Northampton Saints appoints new chief executive 

Northampton Saints has today announced that Mark Darbon is to be the club’s new chief executive. Darbon arrives at Franklin’s…

Mark Darbon

Donncha O’Callaghan signs new Worcester Warriors deal

Warriors are delighted to announce that British & Irish Lion Donncha O’Callaghan has signed a new deal with the Club.…

Donncha O'Callaghan

Match reaction: Stade Francais 28 Bath 25

Francois Louw praised Bath Rugby’s battling spirit but was left disappointed as they lost a dramatic European Challenge Cup semi-final…

Match Report: Stade Francais 28 Bath Rugby 25

Bath Rugby narrowly missed out setting up an all-Aviva Premiership Rugby final in the European Rugby Challenge Cup after a…

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens and Gloucester Rugby celebrate Cup finals

Saracens and Gloucester Rugby are both celebrating places in this season’s European Rugby finals after the Aviva Premiership Rugby sides…

Match Reaction: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Gloucester Rugby director of rugby David Humphreys hailed his side’s ‘unbelievable effort’ as they produced a stirring defensive display to…

Match Reaction: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mark McCall hailed Saracens’ amazing defence after they withstood a first-half assault against Munster and emerged victorious to book a…

Match Report: La Rochelle 14 Gloucester Rugby 16

Billy Burns scored all of Gloucester Rugby’s points and the Cherry & Whites produced an impressive defensive display to down…

Match Report: Munster 10 Saracens 26

Mako Vunipola and Chris Wyles scored vital tries as Saracens booked their place in the European Champions Cup final with…

Saracens ready for titanic Munster challenge

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is expecting little sign of weakness from Munster when the two sides clash in…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals

The semi-finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup will be played in front of sell-out crowds in Dublin and Lyon…

Sell-out crowds confirmed for Champions Cup semi-finals