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Minister for Sport and Civil Society full of praise following 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards

Minister for Sport and Civil Society full of praise following 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards

Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies applauded all those involved as the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards took centre stage at the House of Commons.

More than 310,000 people every year are assisted in some way through Premiership Rugby’s ‘Plan To Improve a Million Lives’, with initiatives designed for all walks of life.

And this afternoon just some of the success stories from the past year were celebrated at the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards with a star-studded event held at the House of Commons.

There were four awards handed out but Mims Davies MP was full of praise for all the hard work Premiership Rugby and its clubs puts in to help people from all walks of life.

She said: “It is fantastic to see how committed Premiership Rugby and its clubs are to improving local communities. From health and education, to diversity and social inclusion, it is vital that we use the power of sport to help change lives for the better.

“Project Rugby, for example, is doing great work bringing young people from BAME communities into the game for the first time and HITZ is helping to get children back into education or employment.

“Walking Rugby is also helping older people to overcome social isolation and loneliness, which is great for me to see as Minister for Loneliness.

“I applaud all of this great work and all of the people being celebrated at the Premiership Rugby Community Awards.”


Winners of the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards:

  • PLAY Achiever of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher – Cheick Kone (Worcester Warriors)
  • BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year Award, supported by SCL – Jared Spence (Gloucester Rugby)
  • Community Volunteer of the Year Award, supported by CVC – Connie Perkins (Wasps)
  • Community Coach of the Year Award, supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union – Craig Monaghan (Sale Sharks)

The first award of the afternoon was the PLAY Achiever of the Year Award – supported by Gallagher – with Worcester Warriors’ Cheick Kone first on stage to collect his gong.

It was a tight call with Bath Rugby’s Jess McConnell, Kascie Higgins of Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks’ Howard Coppenhall also in line for the award, but Cheick was a worthy winner.

The award recognises a participant who has excelled in any programme which introduces rugby to new audiences, with Cheick going from knowing nothing about the sport to now being in the Worcester Warriors Under-16 Academy, as well as taking part in an England Under-16 Festival, thanks to Project Rugby.

Gloucester Rugby’s Jared Spence claimed the BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year Award, supported by SCL, for turning his life around through Premiership Rugby’s HITZ programme.

Shortlisted duo Courtney Bell of Newcastle Falcons and Wasps’ Danielle Tuson have also benefitted from the HITZ, but Jared took home the prize having gained his gym instructor level two qualification through the programme as he works towards his dream of becoming a personal instructor, something he thought would never happen after dropping out of school in Year 10.

Wasps’ Connie Perkins was crowned the Community Volunteer of the Year – supported by CVC – for giving up her valuable spare time while revising for her GCSEs to a number of Wasps’ community programmes.

Gloucester Rugby and England forward Aaron Hinckley and Sale Sharks’ Matt Hulme were also on the shortlist, but Connie’s name was read out for going out of her way to make sure that people are comfortable, and for instilling confidence in people.

And the afternoon was rounded out as Craig Monaghan scooped the Community Coach of the Year Award, supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union, thanks to his efforts with the Sale Sharks Community Trust.


After being medically discharged from the army Craig has found a new lease of life in the rugby world with his work with Sharks Forces and Ball To That seeing him pip Harlequins’ James Collins Clark and Anthony O’Reilly of Wasps to the crown.

To read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit www.premiershiprugby.com/in-the-community or join the conversation #ImproveAMillionLives

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