WEST Park Leeds have been nominated for women’s team of the year at the Crabbie’s National Rugby Awards.
The Yorkshire club were in scintillating form during the 2017/18 season, going unbeaten and scoring more than 700 points to finish nine points clear at the top of the Championship North 1 table.
West Park Leeds went on to win the Championship North v South play-off, beating Thurrock 42-26 to become national champions. One player shone last season, Sarah Dunn – a firefighter by profession and mother of twin babies who became the first person ever to score more than 100 tries for West Park Leeds.
It wasn’t just the players that stood out as Avril Pearce was nominated for volunteer of the year after more than three decades helping at the club. Her voluntary roles over the years include membership secretary, mini and junior team manager co-ordinator, the club’s first-ever safeguarding officer and entertainment secretary.
Held at rugby headquarters, Twickenham Stadium, on August 29, the National Rugby Awards celebrate the best of English rugby, from grassroots to the very pinnacle of the game and will be attended by rugby celebrities and members of England Rugby teams and Premiership players.
West Park Leeds will have their moment in the spotlight at the ceremony but face stiff competition in the category with Yeovil Rugby, Workington Finches, Anselmians Warriors, Reading Abbey and Kenilworth Ladies also nominated.
Former England captain Chris Robshaw played a major part in the creation of the awards, and he said: “Whether it’s professional players, or right through to the amateur stuff, the unsung heroes, the big club men or women – both sexes are involved in these awards.
“It’s a great night for all to get involved. It’s a ceremony that honours all levels, and not only on the pitch, but off the pitch as well. That’s what makes a local rugby club tick, everyone on and off the pitch working together, whether it’s the person clearing up, or making sure all the meals are there, or the player scoring all the tries, they’re all important.”
“It’s going to be an incredible event,” Robshaw added. “It’s in its fourth year now and it’s continued to grow every single year and I think the brilliant thing about the awards is the 12 categories up for grabs.
“Being at the home of rugby is a great place to have it and a massive stage to be able to host something like this.”
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer passionately supports rugby at all levels. The brand returns as the Headline Sponsor for the 2018 National Rugby Awards after partnering with the event for the first time in 2016.