Australian Rugby Union announce finalist for 2014 HSBC Volunteer of the Year program

by staff

Australian Rugby Union is delighted to announce the finalists for HSBC Volunteer of the Year, HSBC Lifetime Volunteer of the Year and HSBC Young Volunteer of the Year (U25).

The trio of awards recognise volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the development, promotion and or advancement of Rugby Union in Australia.

Fifteen volunteers from seven states and territories were represented in the shortlist, with the winners set to be announced on Friday October 3, 2014 and hosted at the John Eales Medal later in the month.

HSBC Volunteer of the Year: Franca Jones (NSW), Chris Hicks (NSW), Leith Wood (NT), Ian Jones (VIC) and Ellen Tolmie (WA).

HSBC Lifetime Volunteer of the Year: Bruce Lycett (NSW), Peter Hulthen (QLD), George Doughty (SA), Bill Coulter (VIC) and Maurie Day (WA).

HSBC Young Volunteer of the Year: Thomas Fisher (NSW), Patrick Blake (NT), Jonathon Pini (TAS), Jessie Treherne (VIC) and Tyler Miller (WA).

Australian Rugby Union General Manager of Rugby Participation Andrew Larratt believes volunteers play a significant role in growing participation at the grass roots level.

“The humble work of volunteers in Rugby is what drives the game in communities’ right across Australia and through this program we are dedicated to acknowledging their efforts,” Larratt said.

“The finalists represent thousands of Rugby volunteers in the country who are passionate about the game and the benefits it holds for young boys and girls.

“I would like to personally thank all volunteers who have gone above their call to show their support for Rugby Union in Australia and encourage them to keep up the good work.”

Contenders for the award were collected through a nomination process which saw people from the Rugby community recommend an individual who has volunteered their time to the game over a significant period.

Each state and territory union provided their top three nominations for the awards and was then judged by a panel of experts, which included 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,” Clark said.

“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.”

The winner of the 2014 HSBC Volunteer of the Year, HSBC Lifetime Volunteer of the Year and HSBC Young Volunteer of the Year will be special guests at Rugby’s blue ribbon event, the John Eales Medal, on October 23, 2014.