Community Recognition Awards 2021 - Glasgow North Region Winners

Community Recognition Awards 2021 - Glasgow North Region Winners

The 2021 Scottish Rugby Community Recognition Award winners from Glasgow North region were announced in a virtual awards presentation on Thursday 10 June.

The 2021 Scottish Rugby Community Recognition Award winners from the Glasgow North region were announced in a virtual awards presentation on Thursday 10 June.

In the 2019/20 season, the Scottish Rugby annual awards structure was revamped and renamed the ‘Rugby Development Awards’, however in-light of the domestic league coming to a halt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s awards followed a new one-off format, focusing on the off-field efforts of clubs and schools across all five regions of Scotland over the course of the last year.

The winners were announced via the respective region’s Facebook Group between 6pm and 7pm with recorded video messages delivered by Scottish Rugby’s Rugby Development team, Scottish Rugby Council representatives and Scottish Rugby President, Ian Barr.

Award winners were announced for six categories including; Community Champion Award brought to you by SP Energy Networks, Diversity & Inclusion Award brought to you by Scottish Rugby, Young Person’s Award brought to you by Mitsubishi Motors, Charity Fundraiser Award, Inspiration Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award all brought to you by Tennent’s.

Each winner will shortly receive a personalised trophy and prize from the award sponsor.

Scottish Rugby Glasgow North’s Regional Director, Peter Burgon said: “Clubs and schools have faced many challenges in the last year. But even in the absence of the sport, individuals and groups from within the rugby community have been a beacon of light through their incredible commitment to supporting their local community, charities and other people. Our award nominees and winners exemplify the values of our sport.”

Scottish Rugby President, Ian Barr added: “We often say in sport that volunteers are the lifeblood of the game. This year, that hasn’t just been a saying. Rugby volunteers, players and committee members all over the country have shown with their actions, commitment, determination and inspiring acts of kindness just how true that is. I am pleased that we have been able recognise that impact and say thank you to everyone for their efforts with the Community Recognition Awards this year.”

The respective award winners and nominees are listed below:

​Inspiration Award - brought to you by Tennent’s: Paula Boan, Cambuslang RFC

Having volunteered her time for the past ten years, Paula Boan is described as the “very heartbeat” of Cambuslang’s junior section.

There are not many areas across club life which Paula hasn’t touched in her last 10 years with the club. She has taken on responsibilities including membership administration, ordering and fulfilling kit orders, providing first aid support, club and charity fundraising, and a key contributor to the organisation of the junior rugby festival.

During the covid-19 pandemic, Paula used her passion for the community to support the club’s virtual fundraiser and food collection for Cambuslang and Rutherglen food bank, which has seen the club donate over 400 kilos of supplies.

In years gone past, Paula has been responsible for breathing life back into the club’s social life, hosting hundreds of guests and raising thousands of pounds for local charities through events including a Christmas dance and Ladies Lunches.

Although in-person events haven’t been able to take place in the last 12 months, Paula has dedicated her time to sharing her vast knowledge and expertise to upskill new volunteers within the club, to ensure that in the future the club has consistent support to move forward.

A stalwart of the club, Paula is credited as someone who has given back an enormous amount to the community, whose “selfless commitment and leadership” has helped put grassroots rugby on the map in the local community.

Diversity & Inclusion Award - brought to you by Scottish Rugby: Brendan Kelly, Glasgow East Juniors

Glasgow East Juniors (GEJ), based at Barrachnie Park in Baillieston, provides boys and girls from primary’s 1 to 7 with the opportunity to access rugby, using the sport as a vehicle for social experiences and inclusion.

GEJ was the brainchild of Brendan Kelly and Jim Boyd, who both previously played at the since lapsed Glasgow East RFC. Recognising a local gap for young children to access rugby, the duo set up GEJ in 2019.

Working with local schools and community groups to deliver rugby sessions including Friends of Mount Vernon and Barrachnie Park, Glasgow Sport and Glasgow Life, Brendan has helped created a large network which encourages young children to engage with rugby and the wider club.

Jim described Brendan as an individual who has “worked tirelessly” to support boys and girls from various backgrounds, with different needs to engage with rugby as a means of getting active and to develop their confidence and social skills.

Brendan has given particular focus to enabling young people with autism to feel included and welcome at training sessions by working closely with parents to understand each child’s needs to help them feel more comfortable and confident whilst participating.

Community Champion Award - brought to you by SP Energy Networks: Colin Swanson, Cambuslang RFC

Starting at the club around 40 years ago as a member of Cambuslang’s mini section, Colin Swanson has gone full circle having coached all ages at the club he is now coaching the mini section once again. Colin is credited for supporting the development of over 200 players who have progressed onto the club’s junior section.

In addition to his coaching role, Colin is also a member of the club’s committee, fulfilling the position of Community Coordinator over the past three years. The club has praised Colin’s “dedication, passion and commitment” to this role for stimulating a large intake of new members from the local community.

Working closely with sportscotland, South Lanarkshire Active Schools Programme and Community Sport Hubs, Colin has been able to extend the club’s rugby and sports offering to wider members of the local community whose access may previously had be limited.

Through these partnerships, Colin has supported the delivery of rugby taster sessions to over 350 pupils in local primary and high schools, and has delivered bespoke training and taster sessions to a local autism support group.

In addition to this, Colin organised for a training course to be delivered to club volunteers to enhance their understanding and develop new strategies to better enable people with autism engage with and enjoy rugby.

​Charity Fundraiser Award - brought to you by Tennent’s: Thomas Davidson, Cartha Queen’s Park RFC

Over the last year, Thomas Davidson of Cartha Queen’s Park has been the driving force behind the club’s incredible national and local charity work.

Led by Thomas, the club kicked off their charitable work by supporting Movember, a charity which support men’s health projects and funds research to tackle mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Players participating spent the month of November growing some truly hair-raising moustaches, whilst collecting donations.

The group raised over £10,500 for the cause, placing them in the top 60 on the overall UK leader board and first on Scotland’s leader board for rugby clubs for contributions to the charity in 2020.

In addition to this champion effort, Thomas also organised a collection for the Glasgow South East foodbank, operated by the Trussell Trust.

By Saturday 19 December the club had donated an estimated £12,000 worth of food, toiletries and other essentials to the foodbank.

Cartha Queens Park Club President Ed Crozier said: “The foodbank told us that our contribution is one of the largest they have ever seen. The donations will have an immediate positive impact on the geographical area where our club is located including Govan, Govanhill and Pollock, areas of higher deprivation, relative to the rest of the country, which unfortunately have been further compounded by the impact of Covid-19.”

​Young Person’s Award - brought to you by Mitsubishi Motors: Rory Wallace, Cambusland RFC

Playing rugby through all the ages groups at Cambuslang, 17-year-old Rory Wallace is now using the skills and knowledge he’s gained from the club to support the future generation of players as a coach.

Rory’s motivation to take up coaching with the club’s P6 player group was to contribute to his voluntary hours with the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Having loved the experience of giving back to this ever-expanding group of players, Rory has stayed on as a coach, helping design and lead sessions.

Rory’s “enthusiasm, knowledge and skills” have been a huge asset to the club over the last 12 months, keeping the young player engaged and enthused during a difficult time.

The positive feedback from the young players he coaches has been mirrored by parents and other club volunteers who have described Rory as “epitomising everything that is great about rugby”.

​Lifetime Achievement Award - brought to you by Tennent’s: Alexander Kilpatrick, Hamilton RFC

Alexander (Sandy) Kilpatrick was introduced to rugby at Hamilton Academy, joining Hamilton RFC as a playing member in 1959 at the age of 17.

Now in his 63rd year of continuous membership and can be found most Saturday’s [when circumstances allow] greeting the referees and visiting supporters at Laigh Bent.

The club has described Sandy as being “as passionate about rugby and Hamilton Rugby Club today as he was on the day he started playing back in the 1950s”.

From playing in the 1XV, to coaching; refereeing to serving as club the match secretary, and even a spell as groundsman, over the last 30 years, Sandy has done it all.

Upon graduating from university Sandy returned to his roots at Hamilton Academy as a Physics Teacher and Rugby Master. Sandy has had a profound impact on many people over the last 60 years, especially in his work with local schools.

Testimonials written by players including Dave Russell and Mike Marron, explained that without Sandy’s “encouragement and enthusiasm” the pair would never have developed a lifelong love for rugby.

The stalwart later went on to champion school rugby at Cathkin High and Uddingston Grammar.

Sandy’s work to deliver positive rugby experiences have further been bolstered over the years through his involvement in the club’s bi-annual French rugby trip involving Châtellerault Rugby Athlétique Club (CRAC), which affords young players the opportunity to play rugby on an alternate visit to France and Scotland.

In 1994, which saw U16 and U18 teams travel to France for the first time, Sandy attended both as a coach and supporter, and was instrumental in ensuring the young players fully enjoyed the cultural experience of playing in a foreign country and engaging socially with their opposition.

For many years since then, ever keen to step up when needed, Sandy acts as translator when the guests from CRAC visit Hamilton.

In more recent times, Sandy continues to volunteer his time to support club charity projects and helps keep former players connected to the club as one of the creators of the ‘Gold Bulls’ initiative.

Watch the full Glasgow North Community Recognition Awards presentation below!

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