Two students, two teachers, an ex-student and a former teacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form College are among fourteen volunteers honoured by Yorkshire RFU for their contribution to rugby in Richmond. Every year, Yorkshire RFU ask clubs to nominate their outstanding volunteers and their contribution is recognised at the Mitsubishi Volunteer Awards Evening. This year, the event is virtual via video, to celebrate the amazing work of the rugby volunteers, and is hosted by The RFU’s Chief Executive, Mike Tindall MBE and England World Cup Winner, and the President and Chair of Yorkshire RFU.

Sid Rye and Amy Simpson, Year 10 students, have been recognised for their dedication to supporting and coaching the Under 6 Micros each Sunday morning at Richmondshire RUFC.  With twenty children, aged between two and six, the students are kept busy and really look forward to the weekly training. Under the watchful eye of Gareth Hastie, Micros Coach and Captain of the Second Team, Sid and Amy, as team leaders, are responsible for setting up the training sessions and helping to coach the young players. Gareth said: “With so many children to look after, their support is invaluable and they are highly respected by the children who really appreciate and enjoy their encouragement.  They are great assets to the club and do a terrific job.”

Sid has been a volunteer for three seasons and is looking forward to being able to get back to coaching when it is safe to do so. He said: “Coaching the Under 6s has been great. It has helped me to get involved within the community and also learn new skills and dealing with coaching rugby at grass roots level.” Amy has been volunteering since September and said: “Since helping with the U6s, I’ve enjoyed seeing the young children develop through the season and become more confident with the people around which has helped their skills. It’s nice to see children of that age getting outside in a friendly environment, no matter what the weather, and having fun. Helping Gareth has also given me confidence with dealing with people which will help me in the future.”

It is wonderful that so many people are championing rugby in Richmond, including former student of Richmond Sixth Form College Graeme Newton.  Graeme, Managing Director of Randall Orchard Construction Ltd, is the Chairman and a former player at Richmondshire RUFC and said: “We are privileged to have a committed group of volunteers at our club, from the parents who relentlessly ferry our young players to matches and serve welcome refreshments, to our coaches who dedicate hours training our players, come rain, wind or shine, not forgetting those who do jobs behind the scenes. I am delighted that many of them have been recognised by the Yorkshire RFU for their contribution to rugby.”

Jack Moore and Rachael Harrower, PE teachers, and both experienced players, are in the roll of honour for their commitment to rugby at Richmond School and Sixth Form College and their work with the RFU’s CBRE All Schools programme which aims to increase the number of secondary state schools playing rugby union and to encourage new players to join local clubs.  Jack has been instrumental in coordinating the programme at school, creating better links with the RFU through community coach Richie Young, and the festivals they have organised to get more young people playing more rugby.  A highlight for Miss Harrower has been supporting the opportunity for girls being able to play rugby, which is now extremely popular with the Year 7 and Year 8 students in school.

Mr Moore commented: “The impact it has on people’s teamwork skills, from communication, to cooperation, to leadership and respect are all added reasons we encourage participation in our young people. For anyone who has ever been interested in trying rugby, I couldn’t recommend it enough. There are plenty of opportunities both in school and at a local level. Find your nearest club and get involved.”

As well as being a key volunteer at Richmondshire RUFC and a player at Mowden Park, Charlotte Lewis regularly comes into school to support extra-curricular rugby, sharing her knowledge and skill with the students.

Mike Tindall MBE concluded: “One thing you know about local clubs is all the volunteers who get behind them and make things happen.”

Watch Yorkshire RFU’s video that celebrates the important work of its volunteers in the rugby community at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Dmv8MxsC4&feature=youtu.be

The volunteers that have been recognised for their contribution to rugby in Richmond are: Andrew Down, Julia Greaves, Gareth Hastie, Rachael Harrower, Kat Hastie, Nick Hunter, Charlotte Lewis, Tracey Mcanally, Jack Moore, Jon Moulding, Graeme Newton, Andy Nimmo, Debbie Pollard, Sid Rye, Amy Simpson and Roger Swainston. For further information about Richmondshire RUFC visit https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/richmondshire/