English Schools Rugby League Celebration Evening
The English Schools Rugby League Celebration Evening was held at the City of Salford Stadium before the final of the Autumn Internationals and proved successful with 140 guests enjoying the event.
A review of the year which highlighted some of the positives of the season such as the 17.5 per cent increase in the number of teams playing nationally was followed by an awards ceremony.
Jeremy Crowther (pictured) from Keighley Cougars won the Outstanding Contribution to Schools Rugby League Award beating off competition from Mark Glover and Ceris Dixon for the accolade which was presented to him by RFL Interim Chairman Maurice Watkins.
The winner has been a stalwart of Schools RL within Yorkshire for over 20 years and has organised coaching for pupils and teachers, as well as organised competitions in Primary and Secondary sectors at all aspects of the game.
He has been part of initiatives such as Yorkshire Water Nines and was part of the Champion Schools competition for girls when it started in 2004. His commitment to promote Rugby League to girls has seen huge benefits in not only the sport but improved social skills and discipline within schools
Jeremy Crowther said: “On receiving the initial news of my nomination for the award I was totally in shock to be honest for it came totally out of the blue, but then a bit nervous whether I would get any further, there were some really good people in that initial list.
“When the email arrived with the last three, I realised whether I won the award or was runner up, English Schools had paid me an enormous compliment of which I am very proud indeed.
“On Sunday, and leading up to the announcement I still had no idea who the winner would be, but when the announcement came I was actually very near to tears and so was my wife.
“To win an award for something I love to do and has kept me going long after I should have retired is amazing, I feel very humble to be considered for the award but very, very proud to win it.
“During my association with Yorkshire and England Schools I have met many, many wonderful teachers who have given me so much help in spreading the game within schools to whom I owe so much; one such person was also in the last 3 nominations.
“As for the future, I think this award has given me the energy to carry on a little longer, I certainly owe English Schools that, perhaps I love the game too much.
To end I will never forget Sunday and the honour I was accorded, thank you to all”.
Tim Roby and Phil Clarke presented the 2012 Champion Schools Year 7 Final Match Officials with awards
The match officials selected were:
Robert Gaskell (St Helens)
Marcus Griffiths (Widnes)
Tom Grant (Leeds)
Gaige Corvo (Leeds)
James Jaundrell (London)
Curtley Etchells (Barrow)
Sky Sports presenter Phil Clarke also presented the Teacher of the Year award to both male and female winners.
The female award went to Alison Ward who was been recognised for her development work within the Midlands going above and beyond to increase the profile of Rugby League within Wolverhampton.
Alongside her voluntary coaching roles in the community Alison has organised regular Rugby League in schools and after school Rugby League sessions and raised £800 for the Benevolent Fund for Schools Rugby League
Neil Ashton was recognised for his eight years of service to Schools Rugby League in the North West by being announced as the winner of the male award.
Alongside his full time teaching role at St Peters School, which this year has achieved all five school teams reaching the national stages of the competition; Neil is the current secretary for Wigan Schools.
He has worked with the regional team in completing local fixtures, the largest number of school games in any other area which is testament to his great work.