"It's fantastic to see so many here today. Today is about sharing with everyone what we have been up to over the past year, an opportunity to recognise the achievements of those who have been involved in our projects and an opportunity to thank those who support what we do."
The Gloucester Rugby Community Department deliver a wide range of initiatives, including grass root and junior rugby development programmes, educational based projects, match day activities, community festivals and events.
The Department aims to develop links with the local community through programmes using the Clubs players and facilities in order to promote positive life styles, citizenship, social inclusion and community interaction.
The department came into existence primarily as a rugby based programme, encouraging young people, boys and girls, to enjoy and play the game. A scheme that has had and continues to unearth local talent. In recent years players such as Jack Adams, Ryan Lamb and more recently Charlie Sharples have been discovered through community work.
"Gloucester Rugby Community programmes go far beyond just the playing of the game. Working with various organisations, local health and Education Authorities, local schools, and youth organisations, the club have developed a number of initiatives that support young people. We work with over 100 schools across the area each year, delivering projects to more than 10,000 young people", Gary added.
The Community team presented a number of awards to young people, schools and local clubs.
Paul Rudland, Community Development Officer, presented the Junior Player of the Year Award to Oliver Cole and Dave Barley, Community Coach, presented the Most Improved Player of the year award to Joe Meloscia.
Harvey Mott, from Kingsway Primary School, Joe Palmer, Churchdown School and Liza Sulyma, Brockworth School also picked up awards for their achievements having taken part in community educational projects.
The clubs community projects had suffered a bit of a knock back at the beginning of the year with the withdrawal of public sector funding which affected the running of a number of its educational projects.
Although, Gary added:
"In the months that have followed I am pleased to say we have received fantastic support from a number of locally based companies.
"I would like to give a special mention to a couple who helped us keep the ball rolling. I would like to thank Chris and Jeremy, from Renishaw who offered their support through the Renishaw Charity and also a special mention to Marilyn from Bristol Street Motors, who was instrumental in helping us to acquire a new mini-bus which has been donated by the Mears Group and Lex Auto Lease."
Special thanks were also given to Angela Edwards, the club's business manager for championing the clubs community work and introducing companies including Rickerbys, Capita, Creed Food Services, JS Security, The Communications Centre and Kodak Lens.
Others who support the clubs community work are Jewson, EDF Energy, Robert Hitchin's, Ecclesiastical Insurance and the most recent addition to the Gloucester Rugby Community family is Lanes Health.
Other awards were presented to Old Richians RFC receiving the Community Club of the Year, Hempsted Primary School, Community Primary School of the Year and Pates Grammar School, Community Secondary School of the Year.