Gallagher Community Player of the Season shortlist announced
Six players who have given their all off the pitch as well as on it are in the running for the Gallagher Community Player of the Season award.
The award celebrates those who go the extra mile to make a difference in their local community– emphasising how much good Gallagher Premiership Rugby stars do in their own time.
This year’s shortlist is no different with Darren Barry of Worcester Warriors, Saracens’ Calum Clark, Bristol Bears’ Nick Fenton-Wells, Rob Miller of Wasps, Lucas Noguera of Bath Rugby and Sale Sharks’ Denny Solomona up for the gong.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday 22 May at the star-studded 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher.
Gallagher ambassador and World Cup winner Danielle Waterman was impressed by the wide-ranging activities this year’s shortlist have been doing.
“The great thing about rugby is the values behind it and the six players on the shortlist for Gallagher Community Player of the Season certainly demonstrate that,” she said.
“All those shortlisted for the award have done great work in their communities and can certainly call themselves role models.
“It’s brilliant to see the effort that is being put in by these players and the clubs away from the pitch up and down the country that we don’t always see on a daily basis, and whoever takes home the award will be a worthy winner for sure.”
Rugby players are often seen as role models in their local communities, and the work they do can make a huge difference – especially with young people, which is why community insurance broker, Gallagher and Premiership Rugby have teamed up to recognise the differences players can make.
Barry has been shortlisted for the work he has done with Worcester Warriors’ Tackling Dementia Café, as well as being a Young Ambassador mentor at the club.
Clark is a supporter of the Saracens Sport Foundation and has subsequently joined the board of trustees, giving up his own time to visit sessions and attend regular trustee meetings, outside of his usual player appearance commitments, as well as working on Project Alcatraz in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, Fenton-Wells has dramatically changed the way Bristol Bears Community Foundation engage and work with the local community, helping to organise more than 500 hours of engagement from players and staff through his leadership and influence.
Miller’s desire to broaden his social circle beyond that of rugby, combined with his kind nature, has resulted in him volunteering at two charities once a week – VASA, since December 2017, and Helping Hands, since October 2018.
Bath Rugby’s Noguera has volunteered his free time to help out with a range of activities with Bath Rugby Foundation, including Project Rugby and HITZ.
And Solomona has been shortlisted for the award not just for the work he has done with the Sharks Community Trust, but also for supporting and promoting the work that the Trust has done in raising awareness of men’s mental health, through talking openly about his own struggles.
The six shortlisted players will now wait to see who takes the crown from last year’s winner Mark Lambert of Harlequins at the glittering Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on Wednesday 22 May.
Other former winners of the award include Worcester Warriors’ Chris Pennell, Saracens’ Jamie George, Dom Waldouck of Northampton Saints, Dean Schofield from Worcester Warriors and Bob Casey of London Irish, who won the award in 2012.
The shortlist was compiled by the following panel – Chris Sawyer (Premiership Rugby), Sue Anstiss MBE (Promote PR), Tash Carpenter (English Institute of Sport), Lawrence Blair (SCL) and Sarah Griffiths (Gallagher), while Paul Morgan (Premiership Rugby’s Communications Director) chaired the panel.
Along with the winner of the Gallagher Community Player of the Season, the winners of the following awards will also be announced at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher:
· Gallagher Premiership Rugby Player of the Season
· Ricoh Director of Rugby of the Season
· BT Sport Dream Team
· Citizen Try of the Season
· Land Rover Discovery of the Season
· Premiership Rugby 7s Player of the Season
· Top Try Scorer of the Season
· Gilbert Golden Boot
The winners at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Awards, presented by Gallagher, will be announced first on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #PremRugbyAwards to join the conversation