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Rugby Volunteers Honoured

Torch Trophy Trust Awards

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015 09:42pm
Tewkesbury, Tewkesbury
By Paul Bolton
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TWO rugby union volunteers had their outstanding contributions to sport in the local community recognised at the 52nd annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards in London today.

Judith Phelps of Telford Hornets RFC and North Midlands RFU and Adrian Bishop of Tewkesbury RFC Further were presented with their awards by HRH the Countess of Wessex at a ceremony at the Army & Navy Club in Pall Mall.

They were nominated by the RFU for unstinting commitment to rugby and their local community. 

The Torch Trophy Trust was founded in 1962 and recognises and supports volunteers in sport and recreation. The annual awards are unique in celebrating the often thankless and unnoticed work that is undertaken by committed individuals in their local communities.

Phelps began her association rugby at Telford Hornets while her younger children were moving through the club’s junior section. She has since served the club in a number of roles including chairman.

She is also Safeguarding Manager for North Midlands and is responsible, on a voluntary basis, for setting, managing and advising on a safeguarding policy across a Constituent Body of more than 60 clubs.

She has also been called upon to present and support at RFU events and conferences.

Bishop is currently the Junior Committee Chair at Tewkesbury, the club he joined in 1974 while he was still at junior school.

He played for all three of Tewkesbury’s senior teams last season while continuing to serve on the club’s management committee. He has been a junior coach for more than 25 years and has worked tirelessly to link the club to local schools.

Despite the tragic loss of his friend and club treasurer Bram Lane and his son Christopher in the severe floods of 2007, Bishop has retained his close association with the club.

He has looked after the grounds, acted as sponge man, touch judge and cook as well as ensuring that Tewkesbury have won Gloucestershire’s Whistler Referees’ Trophy which is awarded for looking after match officials.

Paul Dimond, the Torch Trophy Trust chairman, said: “Judith and Adrian have both shown outstanding commitment to their sport and their local communities over many years and thoroughly deserve to be recognised by the Trust for their work.

“It is clear that the local sports communities in the Midlands and the West Country have benefitted enormously from their tireless contribution and we are delighted to honour them both for services to rugby and local sport. 

"Every year, the Trust is overwhelmed with the stories of local volunteers who give their time so willingly and Judith and Adrian are undoubtedly  worthy recipients."

More information about the Torch Trophy Trust can be found at: http://www.torchtrophytrust.org/our_history.php

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