Witney Wolves join Rhino Grassroots Rugby Awards shortlist
Witney Wolves special educational needs tag rugby team, part of Witney RFC, have joined the shortlist for the 2020 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) or mixed-ability rugby is still at an early stage in terms of its development and the Witney Wolves tag rugby team can justifiably claim to be a pioneer of this area of the game.
Founded 12 years ago by a group that included the parent of a child with Down's syndrome, the section is now run by Kate Nicholls and a dedicated group of volunteers, and they cater for players both male and female, aged nine to 26 and across a wide range of ability. They now have upwards of 25 regular players.
Kate says of her role with the side: “I honestly think that the Wolves have given as much to Witney RFC as the club have given to them. Everyone benefits from this kind of outreach to the SEN community. It shows the game of rugby at its best – it’s life-enhancing for everyone involved."
Reg Clark, CEO, Rhino, says: "Rugby should be accessible to everyone and the Witney Wolves demonstrate how this can be made possible. What they've achieved already is incredible and hopefully other clubs will take inspiration from their work and set up their own sides to create further opportunities for fixtures across the UK and beyond."
Witney Wolves, Richmond FC and The Czech Strong Girls are part of a four-strong shortlist with the next finalist set to be announced on 3rd December, 2020.
2015 TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016 KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017 SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018 SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019 KHELO RUGBY (India)