Longlevens shortlisted for Rugby Club of the Season award

Author: Roger Jackson, The Local Answer

Longlevens Rugby Club are in the running to win a top national award.

The go-ahead Gloucestershire Premier club are one of six grassroots rugby clubs that are in with a chance to win the inaugural Gallagher ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ title.

The other five are Erdington RFC, Haringey Rhinos Ladies, Ironsides Rugby, Kingsbridge RFC and Trafford MV RFCC.

Gallagher’s bid to find its first ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ is a nationwide competition to champion grassroots rugby and inspire the game’s next generation of players.

The search began in November 2019, to find local clubs that could demonstrate their contribution to the local community, both on and off-the-pitch; their inclusive approach to providing opportunities in rugby across age, gender, ethnicity and ability and their innovative ways of increasing participation in the sport at a grassroots level.

As a finalist, each grassroots rugby club will receive a skills-sharpening training session with stars from their local Gallagher Premiership Rugby club, Gilbert training equipment worth up to £1,000 and a Gallagher-led, business-focused event to help the club and community off-the-pitch.

Longlevens has made the final shortlist as a result of its application.  This highlighted its commitment to inclusivity and community within the sport, through a highly successful mixed ability rugby project.  This provides weekly coaching sessions for young people from special education needs (SEN) schools in Gloucestershire and the club hosts an inaugural three-SEN-school tournament, which resulted in 50 new members.

Representatives from Gallagher and Premiership Rugby, alongside Gallagher ambassadors and rugby legends, Ugo Monye and Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman, will decide on the winning club — with a public vote through the club’s social media channels contributing to the overall result.

The ultimate winner and Gallagher’s first ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ will then receive an enhanced Gilbert training bundle, worth up to £2,000 and 100 tickets to the Gallagher Premiership Final 2020.

Sarah Griffiths, Director of Communications for Gallagher in the UK, said: “There is so much fantastic work happening within grassroots rugby, not just on the playing side, but also in terms of the impact these clubs are having within their local communities.

“As a local insurance broker, we feel that deserves recognition and reward.  This is why we were delighted to introduce the Gallagher Rugby Club of the Season competition, as a way of giving something back to support the development of the next generation of players, coaches and clubs.

“The quality of the entries we received was incredibly high and all six finalists really are a credit to their communities.  We look forward to celebrating the work that each of the clubs is doing to improve the sport at a grassroots level.”