Sport

Vote now! Help Longlevens RFC win Gallagher Rugby Club of the Season award

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 28 August 2020 8:48

Gloucester Rugby star Willi Heinz and England World Cup winner Danielle 'Nolli' Waterman were on hand to help Longlevens RFC celebrate being shortlisted in the Gallagher ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ award. 

Beating off all but six other clubs to make it onto the shortlist for what is one of the most prestigious awards for grassroots rugby Longlevens RC now hopes public voting will push it over the line so it can lift the trophy as overall champion. 

Rich Stewart, the club’s inclusion manager, and Luke, a second row in the mixed ability team, sat down for an online interview with none other than Nolli Waterman, who helped win the World Cup for England women in 2014, as well as lift multiple six nations championships.

But part way through the interview they were in for a treat when a surprise visitor appeared in the chat room – Gloucester captain Willi Heinz, who made an appearance to congratulate Rich and Luke. 

“I guess everything starts at grass roots, so club rugby you have to have a good club to come through to learn the values of the game,” said Mr Heinz, describing why the Longlevens club was so special. 

Nolli said: “You are doing an amazing job. What you have done in two years to give the opportunity for so many young people to pick up a rugby ball is amazing.”

Insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher, is the title partner of Premiership Rugby. Its Rugby Club of the Season competition celebrates and rewards local grassroots clubs that are making a significant contribution to their local community, on and off-the-pitch. 

Particular focus is placed on how clubs can demonstrate their inclusivity in providing access to and opportunities in rugby across age, gender, ethnicity and ability as well as the innovative ways in which they are increasing participation in the sport at grassroots level.  

Longlevens RFC, based in Gloucester, has been selected as one of the six finalists as a result its commitment to inclusivity and community within the sport through a highly successful mixed ability rugby project, which sees it provide weekly coaching sessions for young people from special education needs (SEN) schools in Gloucestershire, as well as hosting an inaugural tournament between three SEN schools, which resulted in 50 new members,” said a statement.

 

Each of the finalists are paired with a Gallagher Premiership Rugby club from their region and rugby fans up and down the country can now vote for their winner from the following six clubs:  

· Battersea Ironsides (Harlequins)  

· Erdington RFC (Wasps Rugby)  

· Haringey Rhinos Ladies (London Irish)  

· Kingsbridge RFC (Exeter Chiefs)  

· Longlevens RFC (Gloucester Rugby)  

· Trafford MV RFCC (Sale Sharks) 

All of the finalists have already received a Gilbert training bundle worth £1,000 and will enjoy an exclusive Train with your Heroes session, as well as a free business consultancy session delivered by Gallagher’s risk management and insurance specialists when safety conditions allow.  

Sarah Griffiths, Gallagher director of communications, said: “All six finalists have made significant impact within grassroots rugby to develop the game, from using rugby to help underprivileged groups and growing the women’s game, to removing financial barriers to entry and using the sport to improve emotional wellbeing. We are proud to have recognised these clubs and look forward to following their progress in the coming seasons.”  

The winner of the inaugural Gallagher ‘Rugby Club of the Season’ award will be announced at an event at the end of the 2019/2020 seasonwith details confirmed in due course. 

To vote for Longlevens RFC visit Gallagher ‘Rugby Club of the Season. Voting closes on Sunday, September 13.

To find out more about Gallagher’s involvement in rugby, visit: ajg.com/rugby To speak to a club spokesperson please contact gallagher@pitch.co.uk  

To find out more about Longlevens Mixed Ability Rugby visit its Facebook page.