Community Recognition Awards 2023 | Glasgow North awards announced

Community Recognition Awards 2023 | Glasgow North awards announced

The 2023 Scottish Rugby Community Recognition Award winners from the Glasgow North region have today been announced following their presentation on Thursday 23 March.

The Community Recognition Awards is Scottish Rugby’s annual domestic game awards programme, focusing on the on and off-field efforts of clubs and schools across Scotland over the course of the season.

Awards winners were announced for six categories including; Volunteer of the Season in Youth rugby sponsored by inspiresport, Volunteer of the Season in Schools rugby sponsored by inspiresport, Volunteer of the Season in Adult rugby sponsored by Tennent’s Lager, Young Person’s Award sponsored by inspiresport, Community Club of the Season sponsored by Tennent’s Lager, and the Community Match Official of the Season.

Each winner was presented their award at an events ceremony held at Cottiers Hotel, receiving a personalised trophy and prize.

Scottish Rugby Regional Director for the Glasgow North region, Peter Burgon said: “It’s so important to celebrate the achievements of the hard-working volunteers we have in our game, and last night was all about recognising and rewarding their dedication to our sport.

“We have so many passionate and committed people across our region who give up so much of their time to help others take part in rugby. Our award nominees and winners exemplify the values of rugby.”

Scottish Rugby President, Colin Rigby added: “As we approach the end of the domestic season, it is really important that we recognise and share our gratitude to the countless volunteers within our sport who make what we do not only possible, but special, fun and enjoyable.

“We received hundreds of applications to the Community Recognition Awards this year, and I know it was a tough job for the Regional Panels to narrow it down to the winners, but it goes to show how many people in Scottish rugby are noticed and appreciated for all they do, and I for one cannot thank them enough.”

The respective award winners and nominees are listed below:

Community Club of the Season sponsored by Tennent’s Lager: Glasgow Raptors

Glasgow Raptors, Glasgow’s LGBTQ+ inclusive team, are this year’s winners of the Community Club of the Season for the Glasgow North region.

Over the past year, the club has worked hard to make rugby accessible and create a safe space for LGBTQ+ people to engage with the sport.

Some of the ways in which they have done this include the introduction of; a women’s programme to meet the needs for LGBTQ+ women; touch rugby with a focus on participation, developing skills and confidence; and a welfare fund, designed to breakdown socio-economic barriers faced by those in their community, offering offer low and no-cost membership options, funding to support player travel costs and clothing or equipment they need to participate in the sport.

The Raptors have also been engaging with other clubs in the region to promote inclusion in their own communities.

Volunteer of the Season in Youth rugby sponsored by inspirepsort: Lynn Penman (Dalziel RFC)

Youth coach Lynn Penman of Dalziel RFC collects this year’s Volunteer of the Season in Youth rugby award for her dedication to the development of girls’ rugby and wider support of schools rugby in Motherwell.

This season, Lynn took over the role of Head of Girls’ rugby at Dalziel which is in its infancy at the club. Despite being new to the club, Lynn has been credited as the “driving force” behind its expansion.

Between coaching the players and undertaking administrative tasks, Lynn has also been organising matches, keeping up regular communication with parents and players, whilst also taking a seat at the committee table to provide representation for the girls.

When Lynn isn’t working with the girls, she is supporting the mini section, specifically leading the P4 team, and can also be found at Dalziel High School every Wednesday afternoon to help coach the S1/2 boys’ and girls’ teams.

Speaking about Lynn’s contribution to the club, Grant Talbot said: “Lynn is dedication personified. She is so passionate about giving girls the chance to play rugby and she done a great job at growing our offering at Dalziel.

“Lynn has three children and works full-time, how she manages to juggle it all is incredible. It’s always done with a smile on her face.” 

Volunteer of the Season in Adult rugby sponsored by Tennent’s Lager: Frank Mulligan (Cambuslang RFC)

After spending time as a coach at Cambuslang RFC, Frank Mulligan has turned his skillset to grounds maintenance at the Rutherglen club. His dedication to the upkeep of the facilities has earned him the Volunteer of the Season in Adult rugby award for the Glasgow North region.

The club have credited Frank’s dedication and meticulous detail to the pitches, facilities and operations at the club to increasing the number of players at club and importantly, on the pitch.

Speaking about Frank, Community Co-ordinator and coach at Cambuslang, Colin Swanson said: “Frank clearly has a vision for how our grounds should appear to both welcome visitors to the club as well as allow our existing membership enhance their playing skills, with facilities that are fit for purpose.

“While obstacles would in the past have put most off, Frank has successfully navigated the local resources available, to demonstrate how to effectively manage our club grounds, at the increased standard that we now operate.

“Without Frank, rugby at Cambuslang across both junior and senior sections would not be available as regularly as our expanding number of players and coaches demands.”

Volunteer of the Season in Schools rugby sponsored by inspiresport: Murray Hamilton (Oban High School)

Murray Hamilton has been described as “the driving force” behind the School of Rugby programme at Oban High School for the last decade.

With the backing and delivery support of Murray, the school have a regular cohort of boys and girls engaging with rugby, reaping the benefits from a mental and physical wellbeing perspective, with many players going on to play senior rugby at Oban Lorne RFC.

The pupils are now regularly engaging with local and regional competition, travelling across the Glasgow North region to take part, all led by Murray.

Speaking about Murray’s impact, local Development Officer in Argyll, Andrew Johnston said: “Murray’s enthusiasm to create opportunity for players to challenge themselves and to aspire to greater things is one of his key attributes. He takes an active role in the journey of every child that enters the programme building positive relationships along the way.”

Young Person’s Award sponsored by inspiresport: Georgia Steel (Waysider Drumpellier RFC)

When Georgia’s coach at Waysider Drumpellier had to take a step back from training duties for health reasons, the 18-year-old didn’t have to think twice about stepping up to fill the role to ensure rugby for girls at the club could continue.

Whilst also studying for a sports degree and working part-time, Georgia continues to find and make time to support the girls section as she helps organise fixtures and wash the kit.

In addition she has started a women’s section to provide a clear pathway rom youth to senior rugby for players to progress through.

Speaking about Georgia, a spokesperson from Waysider Drumpelier said: “Georgia is caring to a fault, and her passion is rooted in the women and girls’ game. If her recent work is anything to go by the women’s game in Scotland is going to be safe and improved for the better. Quite simply, she is an inspiration.”

Match Official of the Season: Gillian Frew (Hamilton RFC)

Gillian Frew of Hamilton RFC has been named as this year’s Match Official of the Season for the Glasgow North region, awarded the accolade for her dedication to the whistle.

Gillian has been officiating rugby matches since completing her Introduction course in 2018, and in the time since, has worked tireless to ensure matches from mini to senior rugby at Hamilton and across the Glasgow North region have been covered.

The 48-year-old will often sacrifice her own game time as a player for Hamilton Women to ensure games can be officiated.

Speaking about Gillian’s impact as a match official, Hamilton Development Officer, Cameron Snell said: “Since she started her journey as a referee, Gillian has been committed to ensuring rugby is fair, safe and enjoyable for all. Her love for rugby is clear in everything she does but most of all it is evident in the manner she presents herself as an official. She is always supportive to any team or players, and shows all the best values rugby has to offer.

“Her commitment to giving all she can to the game is almost unique. She is truly one of the nicest and most humble people, never asking for any thanks or appreciation for all she gives to the game, so it as a pleasure to recognise her with this award.”

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