Insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher, the title partner of Premiership Rugby, has today launched the public vote for its inaugural Rugby Club of the Season, with six grassroots clubs in the running for the award.
The search began in November 2019 to find local clubs that are making a significant contribution to their local community, on and off-the-pitch. Particular focus was placed on how clubs are able to demonstrate their inclusivity in providing access to and opportunities across age, gender, ethnicity and ability, as well as the innovative ways in which they are increasing participation in the sport at grassroots level.
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)
Click here to go to the voting page voting closes on Sunday 13th September.
All of the finalists have already received a Gilbert training bundle worth £1000 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.
To mark each of the clubs reaching the final stage of the competition, Gallagher hosted a series of Zoom calls which saw club representatives set out to Gallagher ambassadors Ugo Monye & Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman why they deserve to win. Gallagher Premiership Rugby stars Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Willie Heinz (Gloucester), Ben Loader (London Irish), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Tom O’Flaherty (Exeter Chiefs), Jono Ross (Sale Sharks) and Jack Willis (Wasps Rugby) took part by intercepting their affiliated clubs’ Zoom calls to surprise finalists and wish them good luck.
The public vote, hosted on the Gallagher website: https://bit.ly/34yVVvx, will contribute to the overall result, with rugby legends Ugo and Nolli, and representatives from Gallagher and Premiership Rugby all also contributing votes.
Ugo Moyne, Gallagher ambassador, said: “It has been inspiring meeting all of the clubs and shining a light on the impactful work they have been doing within their communities – Gallagher has chosen six fantastic finalists. Grassroots rugby has gone through a tough period over the last few months and the inaugural Gallagher Rugby Club of the Season Award will give a much-needed boost to all six clubs. Get voting for your winner!”
Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman, Gallagher ambassador, said: “Grassroots rugby is so important for the development of the game and it has been wonderful to see the quality of the finalists. All six of the clubs have made huge strides to grow the sport in their communities and make rugby more accessible. It was amazing to see their reactions when each club was surprised by a professional player on Zoom: they are really looking forward to getting back on the pitch and getting to train with some of those top players in person.”
Sarah Griffiths, Gallagher Director of Communications, commented: “We created this award to acknowledge and reward the work that is being done by rugby clubs specifically around inclusivity, innovation and diversity at a community level. 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 season, with details confirmed in due course.
To find out more about Gallagher’s involvement in rugby, visit: ajg.com/rugby