Jul 05, 2016
WE ARE ON A ROLL! MORE SHORTLISTS FOR NATIONAL AWARDS!
Last week we announced Saracens Sport Foundation's BLAST programme was one of three shortlisted for the prestigious PLAY award ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards and this week we have more good news with further shortlists in the Young Achiever Award & Volunteer of the Year Award categories!
Young Achiever of the Year Award: MICHAEL KENNEDY
Saracens’ Michael Kennedy is one of six trail-blazing individuals who have been crowned a Regional winner for Young Achiever of the Year ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
Premiership Rugby’s Young Achiever Award – selected from the shortlist below, will be one of the highlights of the evening and will honour young participants who have ‘made the most’ from initiatives such as Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro, and Urban Rugby Squad.
Michael was in a fragile state when he joined the HITZ programme having been bullied at school, struggling in social situations and often breaking down when it came to achieving in the classroom work. One of the main challenges that Michael had was his confidence to work and socialise in the classroom environment.
During the course, it was evident Michael had a passion and a talent for filming; he would often make video blogs on about everyday life. In order to take a different approach to learning and improve Michael’s confidence, he took to filming HITZ sessions and working on his English through editing subtitles and improving his maths through things like shot timings and video lengths.
Michael is still part of the HITZ Programme but will be looking to progress along the route of media and filming that he has found a passion for whilst on the programme.
The judging panel for the Young Achiever of the Year award chaired by Lydia Good, BREAKTHRU – Development Manager, Premiership Rugby included Elizabeth Tydeman, Public Health England, Emily Cramp, The Movember Foundation, Olly Dawson, Comic Relief and Tom Harrison, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham.
Regional winners shortlisted for Young Achiever of the Year are:
- Jordan Wickens – Bath Rugby
- Aaron George – Gloucester Rugby
- Emilie Gabriel – Harlequins
- Cameron Healey – Sale Sharks
- Michael Kennedy - Saracens
- Chelsea Parker – Worcester Warriors
Having been part of the judging panel that has to pick a winner, Movember Foundation Brand and Communications Consultant Emily Cramp admitted she was taken aback by how much of an impact was made by Premiership Rugby’s community programmes.
“This was an incredible award to try and judge, and the nominations from each and every club were worthy winners,” she said. “It really was truly inspiring reading all these stories and the impact that the initiatives championed by Premiership Rugby are having on a national level. Each application told a unique story, and each nominee had overcome the issues they were facing through courage and commitment. The Movember Foundation is all about people living happier, healthier, and longer lives – and no doubt all of these schemes fit in with our ethos entirely!”
Volunteer of the Year Award: LUCY PUJOS
Eight inspiring individuals from eight different Premiership Rugby clubs have been crowned regional winners for Volunteer of the Year ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.
From disability sport helpers to youth rugby coaches to festival organisers, the Volunteer of the Year award is set to recognise those that have given the most back to their communities.
Every year hundreds of people up and down the country give their time to help run Premiership Rugby initiatives such as – but not limited to – Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro, and Urban Rugby Squad.
These ground-breaking schemes all seek to help the community reach new heights both on and off the rugby pitch, but that would be impossible without those that volunteer their time.
The judging panel for the Volunteer of the Year 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. Regional winners shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year award are:
- Duncan Bell - Bath Rugby Foundation
- Nino Genua – Bristol Rugby
- Nicole Talbot – Gloucester Rugby
- Nigel Champion – Harlequins
- Les Smith – London Irish
- Hamim Ally- Newcastle Falcons
- Kate Bennetta – Sale Sharks
- Lucy Pujos – Saracens
So when the judges met to try and choose a worthy winner, panellist Jug Johal admitted it was a tough task to separate the stellar work done. “It was really inspiring to be able to come and judge these awards, although trying to choose between all the nominees was extremely difficult,” said the Asian Sports Foundation chairman. “Every single person put forward has made a massive contribution to their community, no matter what kind of work they are doing or how many people they have directly affected. What was fantastic to see was the diversity of the entries and how many different kinds of people were being helped both on and off the pitch by the Premiership Rugby clubs.
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.