05/06/14 by Paul Bolton
David Roberts of Ludlow is the North Midlands RFU Volunteer of the Year for 2013/14.
Roberts, who has served Ludlow for more than 30 years as a player and administrator, was chosen by a selection panel of the North Midlands RFU Community Rugby Community from all those nominated in the various categories at the North Midlands Volunteers Awards Evening which was held at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium last night.
Ludlow have already acknowledged Roberts’s outstanding contribution by making him a life member of the club.
Apart from being Ludlow’s secretary Roberts helps the Shropshire club in facilities development, sponsorship and safeguarding.
Roberts was unable to attend in the event at Worcester to receive his award from Craig Gillies, the former Worcester lock, but most of the other award winners were present.
Jade Bissell of Yardley & District was Young Volunteer of the Year in recognition of her work organising social events, mentoring young ambassadors, organising the club’s social media and coaching in the mini and junior section.
The Mini and Junior Volunteer of the Year Award went to Adrian Osborne of Ross on Wye for his efforts in improving the fortunes of the club’s Under 12 side, running a successful summer camp last August and organising a primary schools Tag Rugby tournament.
Jo Bowen of Woodrush won the Senior Club Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedicated service as house manager of the club with responsibility for ensuring the facilities are well looked after. She also helps out behind the bar and with catering.
Paul Atkins of Old Saltleians was Club Volunteer of the Year for using the skills he developed as a member of the RFU’s Leadership Academy to revive the club’s Christmas carol concert. Atkins, who is still an active player, also referees at the club, is a member of the youth committee and coaches the Under-12 side.
Hugh Dawkes of Whitchurch was Groundsman of the Year in recognition of consistently providing quality playing and training surfaces at the Shropshire’s club’s Edgeley Park headquarters.
The Long Service Award went to Nigel Oakes of Kidderminster Carolians for his dedicated service over many years including stints as president, chairman and chairman of selectors. He has also coached at junior level and was a leading figure in Kidderminster’s clubhouse development.
The North Midlands Society of Rugby Football Referees Club of the Year was Birmingham Civil Service.
The award, formerly the Dunsbee Trophy, is voted for by the Society’s referees and referees’ advisors based on their experience of visiting North Midlands clubs during the season.
Andy Wigley of Wythall became the ninth winner of the DLT Cup presented by former top flight referee Dave Thomas as the NMSRFR’s most improved referee.
The full list of nominees in the Awards categories, each of whom received a certificate in recognition of their unstinting efforts, was:
Young Volunteer of the Year: Jade Bissell (Yardley & District), Emma Baker (Old Saltleians), Kieran Farge (Newport), Connor Webb (Telford Hornets).
Mini and Junior Volunteer of the Year: Adrian Osborne (Ross on Wye), Mark Murphy (Kidderminster Carolians), Bob Boden (Woodrush), Gez Mandell (Old Saltleians), Nicola Withers (Newport).
Senior Club Volunteer of the Year: Jo Bowen (Woodrush), Ben Taylor-Davies (Ross on Wye), James Wilcox (Newport), Alan Danks (Bromsgrove), Adrian Taft (Kidderminster Carolians), Serena Shergold (Stourbridge), Adrian Harker (Worcester Wanderers).
Club Volunteer of the Year: Paul Atkins (Old Saltleians), Ann Mince (Ross on Wye), Steve Murphy (Newport), Roger Bates (Telford Hornets), Tony Oliver (Ludlow), Nick Kennard (Whitchurch).
Groundsman of the Year: Hugh Dawkes (Whitchurch), Mark Blakeway (Kidderminster Carolians), Neil Furniss (Newport), John Blackhall (Bromsgrove).
Long Service Award: Nigel Oakes (Kidderminster Carolians), Andrew Watson-Jones (Newport), Mark Cartwright (Telford Hornets), David Wellington (Bromsgrove), David Roberts (Ludlow).