Ealing Trailfinders RFC launches 2012 President’s XV awards

London, 1 November 2011

Ealing Trailfinders RFC joined RFU representatives at Twickenham Stadium to launch the 2012 RFU President’s XV Awards, supported by QBE, the business insurance specialist.

Now in their sixth year, the RFU President’s XV Awards identify and reward initiatives that promote the development of rugby at a grassroots level. The winning club in each of the 15 categories receives £500, with two highly commended projects in each category receiving £100 for their club.

Following the announcement earlier this year that Ealing Trailfinders RFC had won the President’s XV ‘Better Referees’ award, representatives from the club were invited to London to meet RFU President Willie Wildash, 2003 World Cup winner Joe Worsley and England Rugby star Maggie Alphonsi to officially launch the 2012 Awards. They also had the opportunity to discuss the progress that they have made since they won the award.

Image (L-R): Joe Worsley, Mike Stiff, RFU President Willie Wildash, Dick Craig and Maggie Alphonsi pose during a photocall to launch the QBE Presidents XV awards at Twickenham Stadium on November 1, 2011 in London, England.

Ealing Trailfinders RFC was presented with the ‘Better Referees’ award in recognition of the club’s sourcing of new referees not only from the mini, midi and youth coaches at the club, but also from a pool of the youth players and others from outside the club. This season, eighteen new referees passed the ELRA course.

The President’s XV categories cover a range of areas from recruiting volunteers, referees and coaches to developing facilities and driving participation in communities but all entrants must demonstrate outstanding contribution to the development of grassroots rugby through innovative methods and creative thinking.

This is the third year that QBE has supported the awards as part of its commitment to the development of the game.

The judging panel consists of RFU President Willie Wildash and also includes Rugby Football Union for Women President Gill Burns, England’s most-capped player Jason Leonard and Sally Rockenbach from QBE, Official Insurance Partner of England Rugby.

Mike Stiff of Ealing Trailfinders RFC said: “It is a fantastic experience for us to be invited to Twickenham and it is recognition of all of the hard work that has been put in at Ealing Trailfinders RFC over the last year or so. We have had the opportunity to meet other President’s XV winners and discuss how to overcome different challenges within a grassroots rugby club. We are thankful to the RFU and QBE for their support and urge other clubs to showcase their own experiences by entering the awards.”

Willie Wildash, RFU President said: “It’s a real honour to launch this year’s awards which reward the hard work and innovation which helps grows and sustain our game. From what I have seen over the last five years there have been some great ideas and projects and let’s hope this year follows that trend.”

Elliot Miller, General Manager UK National, QBE European Operations, commented: “QBE is once again proud to support the RFU President’s XV Awards as part of our ongoing commitment to the development of rugby. It is important to recognise and reward efforts of clubs who work hard to improve grassroots rugby. I look forward to hearing how this year’s entrants have come up with innovative ways to develop the sport.”

For further details on the President’s XV Awards visit www.rfu.com/presidentsxv or www.qberugby.com. The closing date for this season’s awards is 1st February 2012.