Saracens’ Sarrie’s RFC programme may have scooped the BreakThru Award at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards, but the club’s sport development manager Owain Davies tipped his hat to all those honoured on a special afternoon at the House of Commons.
Premiership Rugby’s innovative BreakThru Award, supported by Jaguar Land Rover UK, applauds programmes and activities which champion social change within both communities and individuals.
Sarrie’s RFC took the gong in a ceremony at Westminster, following the work done since September 2014 to enhance the lives of young people with moderate to high-functioning autism through the power of sport.
Saracens’ Sarrie’s RFC programme:
"The backdrop to this place is fantastic, but you look around the room at all the incredible work done – not only by Saracens but other clubs as well, like Bristol Rugby and the Eagle Project," said Davies.
"It’s really humbling to see as a rugby fraternity what we give back, and it buys into the values of rugby. It’s something you don’t see very often – giving back more than you take, and it’s why people want to be a part of rugby."
Saracens were among four winners at the Premiership Rugby Community Awards, with Volunteer of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year and BreakThru accolades also given at the glittering ceremony.
And the stories already written through Sarrie’s RFC are just the beginning for the North London club.
"It’s about enhancing a young person’s life and disability by engaging with the community," added Owain.
"It takes a holistic approach to work with the family, and that wraparound effect provides a massive growth opportunity to empower families to take a greater step into community engagement.
"17 per cent of people with disabilities take part in 30 minutes of sport each week, compared to 40 per cent without disability. So the gulf is massive and that’s one of the key reasons the programme is so successful.
"Our aim is to grow this number next season and expand our programme further."
To read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit premiershiprugby.com/community or join in the conversation #RugbyChangingLives