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By ARU Media Unit
• Do you know a local hero who has poured their heart into Australian Rugby?• Have you seen an act of kindness on the Rugby field that made you think – “That person is amazing”?• Do you know someone who you think should be acknowledged for their efforts in Rugby?
Australian Rugby Union can announce that it is accepting nominations for the 2014 HSBC Volunteer of the Year – an initiative to recognise the efforts and skills of people who have contributed to the development, promotion and or advancement of Rugby Union within Australia.Now in its 11th year, nominations are now open for three volunteer categories including: HSBC Volunteer of the Year; HSBC Young Volunteer of the Year (U25); and HSBC Lifetime Volunteer of the Year.Any person currently associated with Community Rugby in Australia, in a non-paid capacity at a club, school, union, or associated affiliate of the Australian Rugby Union is eligible for an award. Once nominations are received, state winners will be announced. The winning recipient of the 2014 HSBC Volunteer of the Year will be hosted at the John Eales Medal in October, with all three volunteer category winners announced on the night.Andrew Larratt, General Manager – Rugby Participation, Australian Rugby Union, said: “I am a strong believer in recognising the important role volunteers play in the games development.”“Volunteers play a huge part in keeping local clubs and their players engaged. The HSBC Volunteer of the Year program is one way we can acknowledge the people who have dedicated their lives to Rugby in their communities.”Nominees will be judged on their contribution to Rugby, innovation, leadership and their ability to meet a Rugby need at a community, regional, state or national level. The final judging panel will consist of:• Greg Clark, Fox Sports, Rugby Commentator• Tony Cripps, CEO, HSBC Bank Australia• Andrew Larratt, General Manager – Rugby Participation, Australian Rugby Union• Rachel Hickey, General Manager – Media and Communications, Australian Rugby UnionAustralian Rugby Union is delighted to announce that global bank HSBC has agreed to become the Official Naming Rights Partner for the 2014 Volunteer of the Year program. HSBC enjoys a long and successful history with Rugby Union in various capacities both domestically and overseas having already had successful relationships with the British & Irish Lions, New South Wales Waratahs as well as being the current Official Banking Partner of the Qantas Wallabies.Tony Cripps, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC in Australia said: “HSBC is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the HSBC Volunteer of the Year Award and further support of Australian Rugby Union and the ARU’s contribution to the community. This follows HSBC’s announcement last year that it would be the official banking partner of the Qantas Wallabies and the Australian Rugby Union.“From a grassroots level through to the national team, rugby demonstrates important values both on and off the pitch, which are shared by HSBC and fans across Australia who commit their time and energy to help this fantastic sport to grow and thrive. Through HSBC’s support of the volunteer programme, we hope to raise further awareness and recognition for the grassroots level and their invaluable support to grow rugby in Australia and give back to the community,” he said.FOX SPORTS’ Greg Clark is in little doubt that volunteers are one of the most important facets of the game.FOX SPORTS ‘ Rugby commentator Greg Clark: “As the father of a rugby player who spent a decade at the one Junior Club as well as representing his District and State, I know how much work volunteers do and the time and effort they put in. Without Volunteers we don’t have a game, and I’m thrilled to be able to play my part in recognising the HSBC Volunteer of the Year.”Nominations for the HSBC Volunteer of the Year close on Friday, 5 September.If you know someone that you want to nominate for a HSBC 2014 National Volunteer of the Year award, go to www.rugby.com.au/tryrugby