Gloucester Rugby’s Nicole Talbot has been crowned Premiership Rugby’s Volunteer of the Year at the glittering Parliamentary Community Awards, thanks to her outstanding contribution to the club’s wheelchair rugby programme.
The Premiership Rugby Volunteer of the Year award supported by the All Party Parliamentary Rugby Group, seeks to recognise those that have given the most back to their communities, with hundreds of people up and down the country giving their time to support Premiership Rugby initiatives.
The success of such ground-breaking programmes would be impossible without those that volunteer their time, and Gloucestershire student Talbot was selected for the gong after going above and beyond to support wheelchair rugby in Gloucester and MP Mark Pawsey, Chair of the Parliamentary Rugby Union club agrees.
"Nicole's achievements are testament to her dedication and the personal sacrifice she has made to ensure the Gloucester Wheelchair rugby programme is a real success. It is another example of how Premiership Rugby is changing lives up and down the country.”
The programme, now in its third year, represents a partnership between Gloucester Rugby and the University, and put simply would not exist in its current form without Talbot’s input.
She dedicates over six hours per week to helping organise the wheelchair rugby team, who 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.
While it was a thoroughly difficult task to select a winner from a host of fantastic applications, panellist Jug Johal admitted Talbot’s massive impact had made her story sparkle.
“Judging these awards was extremely difficult as all the nominees had hugely inspiring stories, but Nicole made a huge impact on the rugby in Gloucester,” said the Asian Sports Foundation chairman.
“She is very much a worthy winner having had an enormous role in her community through her involvement with Gloucester’s wheelchair rugby team, and combining that with her time as a student.
“Nicole has been right at the heart of the project, 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.”
Talbot was crowned Volunteer of the Year at the glittering Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards at the House of Commons on Thursday 7 July, where all the nominees and their guests were invited to attend.
To read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit premiershiprugby.com/community or join in the conversation #RugbyChangingLives