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2018 Workforce Volunteers of the Year announced

England Touch has announced the 2018 Workforce Volunteers of the Year.

These new awards have been introduced to recognise the hard work and dedication that has been put in across the country to make Touch one of England’s fastest-growing sports at all levels, and helped to make us the leading nation in Europe.

“Touch in England is thriving!” says Chief Operating Officer Gregg Cropper. “This is not least due to the efforts of our army of volunteers, who are the backbone to our sport, expending their time and energy in driving our sport onwards.

“Our volunteers are everywhere, coaching, refereeing, performing back-office functions, washing kit and everything in between, allowing our players to do what they love at a social, development or competitive level.

“As Sherry Anderson once said, ‘Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless’, and that’s most definitely the case for the winners and indeed all those nominated in this year’s inaugural Workforce Volunteers awards.

“This awards programme has been established to recognise the contribution of these unsung heroes.

“I will be working hard with Nikola and our board to extend this important scheme further, with the hope of an awards dinner next season, whilst creating a rewards and recognition system to help us identify those who most deserve it.

“Thanks to all our sponsors and those donating prizes for this year’s event; it’s very much appreciated having you on board.”

England Touch Head of Volunteers Nikola Halse added: “Without volunteers England Touch would not exist. Volunteers make everything happen from grassroots touch right up to the elite level. They are the backbone to our sport.

“People volunteer for a number of reasons, for the love of the game, to be be involved if they can't play, gain new skills and friendships. Either way thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, Touch in England is thriving!

“So generous are these people with their time, talent and energy they expend, it is only right to create an opportunity to recognise these individuals for their valuable contributions.”

2018 WINNERS

CLUB OF THE YEAR CSSC

Sponsored by Steeden

Daniel Drew, Company Director: “England Touch are a valued partner to the Steeden brand and to support their volunteers at the heart of the grassroots game is something we are proud to do.”

Prize: A bag of balls from Steeden

COACH OF THE YEAR Russell House

Sponsored by Belief Sports

Mason Najmi, Sales Director: “Belief Sports are proud to be in a partnership with England Touch and sponsoring this award. England Touch are great ambassadors representing and promoting the sport throughout the UK, Europe and the rest of the world starting at the grass roots level through to Elite level. On behalf of Team Belief I’m looking forward to a bright and rewarding future together.

Prize: 2 x tickets to the Killick Cup at Twickenham between the Barbarians v Argentina, and a Belief Sports ‘Ice Padded Jacket’ for those winter training sessions

REFEREE OF THE YEAR Stephen Dubreuil

Sponsored by Acme Whistles.

Ben McFarlane, Head of Sales and Marketing: “ACME Whistles continues to supply whistles to England Touch and are happy to be sponsoring the “Referee of the Year” award. We are proud to be working alongside England Touch and excited to be part of the sport as it further grows.”

Prize: Solid Silver engraved whistle. (RRP £150)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD Chris Wall

Sponsored by 247TV

Adrian Battersby, Head of Production: “It’s been brilliant to have been a part of the England Touch journey over the past year. The tournaments we’ve covered have been full of fantastic sport and the players, referees and coaches have brought the games to life with their insight and analysis. We’ve showcased Touch to a wider audience and look forward to this continuing in the future.”

Prize: Behind the scenes experience at a live streamed event with the 247 crew

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Joint winners Joshua Bingley and Claire Heath

Sponsored by Volunteer Kinetic. 

Chris Martin, Founder and Director: “Muhammad Ali says it well 'Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.' Volunteers are special people. They don't do what they do for recognition or awards but because they know it has to get done. We at TeamKinetic are very happy to support this award and we say a #BigThankYou to all of you that make England Touch happen.”

Prize: England rugby store vouchers worth £40 or a pair of tickets to a Premiership Rugby match

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch