Quartet in running for Community Rugby Champion
The four finalists in the running for the Ulster Rugby and SONI's Community Rugby Champion award have been revealed after nominations flooded in from throughout the province.
The award scheme has been initiated by SONI, which is responsible for running the electricity grid across Northern Ireland, with the aim of rewarding volunteers who contribute to the smooth running of grassroots rugby in Northern Ireland through a positive impact on their club and community.
The quartet of finalists are Grace Davitt, a former Ireland international and now women's head coach at Cooke RFC in south Belfast, Ards RFC Director of Rugby Stephen Nutt, Willie Gribben for his work as chairman of the Portadown Panthers disability rugby group and Katie Speers, a fundraiser and first aid officer at Ballymoney RFC.
All finalists will attend Ulster Rugby's awards ceremony next month where the overall winner will be crowned the SONI Community Rugby Champion and walk away with a £1,000 bursary for their club.
All three runners-up will also each win £500 for their respective clubs.
Chris Webster, Domestic Rugby Manager at Ulster Rugby, said: "Selecting just four finalists wasn't an easy task for the judges given the high calibre of entries. Unfortunately, there can only be four finalists and one overall winner.
"Our finalists all demonstrated a commitment to our core values of integrity, respect, inclusivity, fun and excellence as well as a willingness to consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in hugely positive contribution and impact on their club.
"The SONI Community Rugby Champion award is a fantastic way to recognise volunteers' achievements and to say thank you for all their hard work, commitment and devotion to their local club."