Dallaglio RugbyWorks is an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby, through which we aim to get teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training.

Our annual awards ceremony is a chance to bring together the whole RugbyWorks family and recognise the hard work of all those who make it so special. Young people, school staff, corporate supporters, coaches and staff were joined by Lawrence at Macquarie Bank on Thursday 13th of July for the event. 

 As Kazeem, one of our new London-based coaches reports, it was a perfect introduction to the wider workings of the organisation.

As a recent addition to the team at Dallaglio RugbyWorks, I could see from day one that any RugbyWorks event was not to be missed, and it is safe to say that my first experience of one confirmed this. The annual awards ceremony was a fantastic event to be a part of, as we highlighted the achievements of all the young people, school staff, volunteers and partners we work with. It was a wonderful opportunity to recognise all that they have achieved and show how proud of them we are.

The scene was set from the minute the team and I arrived at the Macquarie Group building; it was clear the events team had worked very hard, leaving nothing to chance in their preparations. The venue was fantastic and it was clear that the organisation was no stranger to major events. It gave me a feeling of real importance, inspiration and pride; exactly what we wanted to show the young people in attendance.

My role was to usher in nominees, teachers, parents, supporters and trustees as they arrived at the venue. This provided a great opportunity for me to meet so many of the people involved in the wider aspects of the charity who I may not necessarily see in my daily work.

When proceedings got underway, the atmosphere was lively and inspiring. Representing our kind hosts, the Macquarie Group, Robbie Sommerville, ‎Head of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations spoke passionately about the company’s relationship with RugbyWorks and the ability to provide our young people with opportunities to succeed. Rachel, our CEO, was energetic and passionate as she hosted, introducing a variety of trustees and supporters including chairman, Matthew Key, all showing me how fully everyone at Dallaglio RugbyWorks is engaged at every level. The speeches from those who presented awards set the tone of the charity and were well received by everyone.

As each successful nominee came up to collect their award and have their picture taken with the presenters, it was great to see them recognised for their often unsung work. I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s awards were as follows:

School of the Year: The Limes College, London.
Volunteer of the Year: Mike Orefice, The Macquarie Group.
Young Leader of the Year: Tommy Nash, Pavilion Study Centre, London & Ellis Grace, Sky College, Bristol.
Corporate Partner of the Year: The Macquarie Group.
Teamwork Moment of the Year: Sky College, Bristol.
Teacher of the Year: Leila Belghazouani, The Limes College, London.
Most Improved Young Person of the Year: Cory Slater, Downland School, Bristol.
Lawrence Dallaglio Special Achievement Award: Tommy Mann, Downland School, Bristol & William Camilieri, Francis Barber Westdean, London.

Many congratulations must go to all those nominated as well as those lucky enough to win in their category. As was clear throughout, the judging panel had a very tough time making their decision. Lawrence rounded off the ceremony with a great speech in which he shared some of his experiences with us, touching on how vital rugby has been in his own life.

With all the awards given out, everyone had the opportunity to enjoy drinks and canapés and the supporters and trustees were able to mingle and meet all the new faces in the team as well as regional school staff and, most importantly, the great young people in attendance and their parents.

The awards ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the year’s achievements. Whether they won an award or not, all of our young people have achieved great things this year and should be especially proud. I am looking forward to being involved in many more events with Dallaglio RugbyWorks, and moreover to contribute to the great work that we celebrated last Thursday.

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Dallaglio RugbyWorks is a registered charity: 1130353 (England & Wales) SC046140 (Scotland) / Company Registration No: 6803046
Registered Address: Barclays Bank Chambers, Stratford upon Avon CV37 6AH