Volunteer In Line For Top Award

A volunteer who has given a lifetime of service to rugby in Scotland is set to be honoured at a prestigious ceremony in London next month. Donald Swanson, 81, started his rugby playing career at Peebles High School in 1938 and is still active with Peebles RFC to this day – now acting as first XV cameraman.A volunteer who has given a lifetime of service to rugby in Scotland is set to be honoured at a prestigious ceremony in London next month.

Donald Swanson, 81, started his rugby playing career at Peebles High School in 1938 and is still active with Peebles RFC to this day – now acting as first XV cameraman.

He first became involved with Peebles RFC in 1947, initially as a player. He took on the role of secretary in 1948 and continued as a player and administrator in the 1950s and 1960s.

When his regular playing days came to an end in the 1960s – he did though play for Huntly RFC in Aberdeenshire at the age of 51 in 1977 – he stepped in occasionally to referee at lower levels to ensure a game could be played and was instrumental in fund-raising for the club.

Peebles president George Shaw
said: “Donald is as involved as ever now – having in recent years become the club’s official cameraman videoing the first XV games to facilitate coach analysis – in addition to the work as treasurer and fundraiser after games.”

In May, Swanson was presented with Scottish Rugby’s Spirit of Rugby award (sponsored by John Lewis) at the Scottish Rugby Awards Dinner at Murrayfield

Now the Torch Trophy Trust, a group dedicated to encouraging sports’ volunteers, operating in association with the Central Council for Physical Recreation, have invited him to their annual awards ceremony at Pall Mall, London on Thursday 29 November when trophies will be presented by The Duke of Kent.

Donald Swanson admitted to being “surprised” by his nomination. “Rugby to me is just something that I’ve enjoyed. I get great satisfaction from feeling that I’m contributing whether it’s for the minis or the first XV – just knowing that I’ve played a part to help others hopefully get as much from the sport as I have.”

Asked if he had any plans of stepping down from his voluntary roles at The Gytes, Donald replied: “I’m hoping to keep going until I get the special telegram from King Charles or maybe even King William!”