Saracens Retain The Aviva Club Of The Year Award

SARACENS landed yet another prize at the seventh All Parliamentary Premiership Rugby Community Awards at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday evening – this time retaining the prestigious Aviva Club of the Year Award.

Sarries were presented with the award in the Churchill Room at the House of Commons for demonstrating overall excellence in their community work.

Saracens’ Community Team runs 27 community projects, has 54 partner rugby clubs and 34 partner schools and is known for its outstanding community work reaching over 70,000 young people every year. It is the fourth time that the club has won the award.

One of those projects is Get Onside, which teaches 15 to 21 year olds at Feltham Young Offenders Institute rugby’s basic skills, the rules and the sport’s values in a ten-week course.

Saracens’ link with the institute’s PE department has the specific aim of building young offenders’ confidence and improving their social inclusion, helping bring down the alarming statistic that 70 per cent of youngsters who leave Feltham are back within three months.

And Head of Community at Premiership Rugby Wayne Morris believes the Hertfordshire-based club should take great credit for their work.

He said: “Saracens have consistently been one of our leading clubs and have won this award a couple of years on the trot.

“Their presentation was incredibly impressive. It is a model of best practice within rugby but not only that but also as a global leader across all sports, for a club-based community intervention programme.

“The programme’s incredibly comprehensive, it’s well-thought out, it’s well structured and it’s got some fantastic people working in there who have got a real passion for trying to change young people’s lives and provide them with opportunities.

“They’re not working from a traditional rugby hotspot either, north London is not the easiest part the country to base this from.”

The awards were run in association with The All Parliamentary Rugby Union Group, Premiership Rugby, partners Aviva, Land Rover and J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and media partner SportBusiness Group.

And Morris insists the influence of Premiership Rugby can continue over the next 12 months and beyond.

He added: “The big advantage we’ve got is we’ve got an emotive brand and we’ve got some very unique assets in players.

“They are great role models and ambassadors but we also have stadia which enthuse and inspire people, and we can utilise rugby as a mechanic to get to people excited, whether it be about health changes, education, employment opportunities, it provides them with a different opportunity to what they face normally.”

For the results of the All Parliamentary Premiership Rugby Community Awards visit www.premiershiprugby.com

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