Ben’s hard work for club and school recog­nised

Rugby

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport Www.kentonline.co.uk/sport -

Amaz­ing, tire­less, ir­re­place­able – just three of the words used to de­scribe nom­i­nees in the 2016 Kent RFU Vol­un­teer Awards, writes Mark Stokes.

Now in their sec­ond year, the awards were set up to recog­nise those peo­ple be­hind the scenes who work so hard to make rugby the sport it is.

Nom­i­nees in­cluded coaches, ad­min­is­tra­tors and play­ers from both ends of the age scale.

Ash­ford teenager Ben Gray was the young vol­un­teer-of-the-year for his work both at his home­town club and Tow­ers School. A keen player him­self for Ash­ford 2nds, Ben also runs touch ses­sions, ref­er­ees and helps de­liver tag rugby to spe­cial needs chil­dren.

The se­nior vol­un­teer-of-the-year award went to an oc­to­ge­nar­ian whose com­mit­ment to the sport stretches back more than three decades.

David Haigh is Can­ter­bury Rugby Club’s press of­fi­cer, match­day com­men­ta­tor and pro­gramme ed­i­tor, but they are just some of his roles.

A for­mer So­ci­ety Ref­eree he is also the club’s RFU reg­is­tra­tion of­fi­cer and match ref­eree li­ai­son of­fi­cer as well as be­ing East Kent rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the county com­mit­tee.

Ash­ford’s Martin Kelly was run­nerup in the ju­nior vol­un­teer-of-the-year sec­tion.

The evening was held at Shep­herd Neame’s Vis­i­tor Cen­tre in Faver­sham.

Awards were pre­sented by for­mer Eng­land women’s cap­tain Cather­ine Spencer who said her career would not have reached the heights it did with­out the sup­port and en­cour­age­ment of vol­un­teers.

Ben Gray, Char­lie Mered­ith and Al­fie Fulcher, the three nom­i­nees in the young vol­un­teer-of-the-year cat­e­gory

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