Saracens were announced as winners of the prestigious Aviva Club of the Year award at last night’s (Wednesday 6th July) sixth Annual Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Rugby Community Awards at Portcullis House in Westminster. The winners of the main awards were as follows:
Aviva Club of the Year
MBNA Innovation Award
Winner, Bath Rugby; Women and Girls Programme
Land Rover Impact Award
Winner, Bristol Rugby; Inferno
The three winning clubs battled for top places after being shortlisted alongside Leicester Tigers (Aviva Club of the Year) and Worcester Warriors (Land Rover Impact Award and MBNA Innovation Award) in the first round of the awards, which are dedicated to highlighting best practice in community rugby.
Bath Rugby won the Innovation award for their Women and Girls programme, which works with girls and women age seven plus. The judges felt the increased opportunities provided for a group that is traditionally difficult to engage in sport made this a winning entry.
Bristol Rugby won the Impact award for their Inferno programme, which re-engages young offenders and youths with behavioural problems with education, employment and sport. With youth crime costing UK taxpayers £23million per week, the judges felt the impact this programme had on young people’s lives and the wider community was highly impressive.
Saracens won the sought-after Club of the Year award as the judges felt that the club’s reach – 75,000 people engaged over one year, with 25 separate programmes and almost 27,000 hours of community work – was so wide that it stood out from the other entries.
Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, said, “The awards highlight the very best community work the Premiership Rugby clubs carry out on a daily basis. The time and effort dedicated to such programmes is admirable and their commitment exemplary. Clubs, together with players and partners, are producing impressive results, demonstrating the true value of such programmes.”
Tony Cunningham, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, said “Our winners have truly showcased the potential of community programmes and set a stellar example to the wider sports business industry. Choosing the winners was very tough and all entrants and especially those shortlisted should be acknowledged for the fantastic work they’re doing.”
Run in conjunction with the All Party Rugby Union Group (a cross party group made up of Parliamentarians in both Houses of Parliament who support Rugby Union), the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Rugby Community Awards are sponsored by Aviva, Land Rover and MBNA and supported by media partner SportBusiness Group.
The awards were judged by a panel including; Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby, Kevin Roberts, Editor of SportBusiness Magazine, Tony Cunningham, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, Nick Gibbs, Sponsorship Manager of Aviva, and Don Foster MP.