A committed coach at one of Scotland’s newest rugby clubs has been named BT Volunteer of the Month for his role in coaching and boosting participation of women and girls rugby.
Ben Dunn, who is also Chairman of Dundee Rugby, has played a central role in ensuring that girls rugby can flourish alongside a thriving boys programme.
His two sons both play at U18 level and now, thanks to developing his club’s girls team his daughter, 13, can play the sport she loves.
Teammates come from all over Tayside and Angus to join the sessions with Dundee providing an outlet for the growing demand for girls rugby in the region.
The girls team, which was founded a year ago, has grown to 22 squad members training twice a week. The club works with nearby teams, Howe of Fife and Angus, to offer U12 training sessions with a bigger pool of players.
Ben said: “It’s great to be presented with this award and very humbling. I’m honoured to accept it as an individual but really feel it’s recognition of all the volunteers involved at Dundee Rugby.
“My biggest hope is that this provides an opportunity to promote Dundee Rugby and all the parents and players who give their free time to make this club possible.
“The collaborative effort from clubs in Dundee and Angus, that create Dundee Rugby is vital to provide a real playing opportunity for boys and girls from U13 to U18 in our region.
“The future of Dundee Rugby is bright and it’s volunteers from every part of the rugby family in Dundee and Angus that ensure it’s a success. They make the difference to hundreds of local kids.”
Ben is ever-present at sessions and has put together a team of fundraisers to boost the young club’s finances.
He has recently undertaken a number of coaching courses and obtained his UKCC Level 2 qualification to make sure all the children involved get the best quality coaching they can as well as completing courses focusing on girls rugby.
On top of his coaching and fundraising efforts Ben has also taken steps to promote the club to the local community, producing posters and encouraging parents to get involved.
Josh Gabriel-Clarke, Dundee City Development Officer said: “Ben has made a significant contribution to the growth of youth rugby in Dundee through his hard work and commitment as Chairman of Dundee Rugby.
“The club provides extensive opportunities to boys and girls aged 12-18 in the local area to train and play in a fun, competitive environment.
Ben’s passion for the game and endeavour to ensure that all children and young people have the chance to play, regardless of experience and ability, are second to none. Well-deserved recognition for a good man.”
Dundee Rugby was founded to ensure that boys and girls from a number of the city’s clubs are given the chance to play regular rugby.
Coaches from Dundee Eagles, Dundee Wasps and Panmure Panthers collaborated to run sessions where over a hundred children could train and play.
Every winner of BT Club Volunteer of the Month is invited to BT Murrayfield, with nine friends, to attend the annual Scottish Rugby Club Awards Dinner.
At the Awards Dinner, each of the winners will be in with a chance to win the BT Club Volunteer of the Season award, which will be announced on the night.
The winner of the annual award will receive a £1,000 grant for their club.
To nominate your club, a volunteer or try for the BT Awards please visit: http://www.scottishrugby.org/clubnominations
Credit SRU website: http://www.scottishrugby.org/news/18/02/22/ben-bags-bt-volunteer-month-dedicated-work