Honda and Kent County RFU Volunteer Awards Evenings

On Wednesday 28 June at Blackheath Rugby, and Thursday 29 June at Sheppey RFC, we had the pleasure of celebrating the fantastic volunteers we have throughout the county. From those directly involved in the playing of the game to those who have never put on a pair of boots but love the community the rugby family builds, the two evenings were full of stories of how the game is supported so wonderfully by volunteers. 

The evenings themselves were split into two – the first awards being handed out by Doug Hursey, President of Kent County RFU, were for the Honda Volunteer Recognition Programme, which provides grassroots rugby clubs, Constituent Bodies and the rugby community with opportunities to recognise and reward the volunteers who make up an integral part of the game. These awards focused on three specific categories this year: Unsung Hero, Challenging Spirit and Game for All (read more here). From over 70 nominations, across 31 clubs, received awards, and five nominations were put forward for national recognition:

  1. Micky Back, Maidstone FC
  2. Roger Dengate, Whitstable RFC
  3. Matt Coomber, Old Gravesendians RFC
  4. Andreas Cowling, Bexley RFC
  5. The team at Sheppey RFC (John Bricknell, Pete Jones, John Potts, Max Cornall, Graham Kelly)

The second part of the evening was dedicated to Kent County RFU, with over 60 nominations from 27 clubs. Nominated by their peers, the winner and runners-up of the categories (read more here about the categories) were given awards for going above and beyond in their activities to support the game that we love. The committee who read through each nomination were, once again, blown away by both the hard work of the volunteers, but also by the sentiment of the write-ups – in many cases really helping to change the lives of children and adults alike. Pamela Kilmister, Volunteer Recognition Co-ordinator for Kent Rugby, says “We have so many amazing volunteers throughout Kent: they do their bit (and beyond) without wanting recognition. Their dedication never goes unnoticed, though, and the annual Kent Volunteer Award season gives everyone an opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ to those who make a difference.”. 

The winners and runners up of the categories can be seen in the table below. 

KENTWinnerRunner Up
Senior Rugby AwardJames PercyGavin Renno*
Junior Rugby AwardValentina Di GiovanniJamie Callaway
Mini Rugby AwardTokunbo Howe (‘Toks’)Brian Williams 
Match Official AwardChris Fullbrook (‘Vinnie’)Alan Crane
Social Inclusion AwardIan LloydChris Smith
Spirit Of Rugby AwardDavid Plews John MitchellRoe Belcher
Young Persons AwardGui Ferreira Eoin O’DonoghueEllis Pinn
President’s AwardSteen MickelborgJohn Ettridge

Congratulations to all those who were nominated and to those who won awards across Honda or Kent. 

Finally, thank you to Blackheath Rugby and Sheppey RFC, who gave their halls free of charge for the evening in recognition of the work the volunteers do, thank you to everyone who nominated the well-deserving award winners and, of course, thank you to all of the volunteers throughout the county.