WRU Award for FoNR founder member
Newport RFC were delighted last night when Nick Jackson, Community Officer for the Friends of Newport Rugby (FoNR) Trust won the prestigious “Services to Rugby” award at a Welsh Rugby Union awards ceremony.
The event, held in the Millennium Stadium, marked the end of the 2010/11 premiership season and was a glittering affair supported by the Principality Building Society. A host of leading Welsh rugby dignitaries were in attendance, including Chief executive Roger Lewis, WRU President, Dennis Gethin and a number of current Welsh internationals on hand to present the various prizes.
The evening started on the pitch where the assembled audience, made up of all of the Welsh Premiership clubs, were entertained by “Only Boys Allowed” a large group of talented young singers drawn from throughout South Wales. With Newport RFC not having had the best of seasons, it was especially pleasing to come away with an award and one that recognised Nick’s immense amount of unseen hard work.
Unfortunately Nick was not able to be there in person to collect his award as he currently away on holiday, however, fellow FoNR committee member, Andrew Hopkins was on hand to collect the award on Nicks behalf.
Nick was recognised for the significant amount of work that he puts into the community side of rugby. He liaises with both schools and local rugby clubs to give youngsters the opportunity to be a part of the match-day experience at Rodney Parade before Newport RFC home matches. The children are taken through a training session, often with non-playing members of the squad and then provide the guard of honour as the teams run out onto the pitch. One child is also selected to be a mascot for the day and is photographed with their favourite player. In addition to this Nick also takes the lead for FoNR in developing the sport at grass roots level in Newport and the surrounding area. FoNR provide financial help to sustain existing organisations or to promote new set-ups. The community element of FoNR’s work is focussed at giving opportunities to youngsters to be aware of and participate in the sport of Rugby Union.