Rugby Hero wins SPAR's People Podium


 Lawrence Howard, founder of Lancashire’s first all-inclusive rugby team was recently chosen from 4,000 nominations to win the £10,000 grand prize as an unsung sporting hero in convenience chain SPAR’s community campaign.

Now in its second year, SPAR’s UK-wide People’s Podium supports and celebrates community sport, awarding one winning prize of £10,000 and four runners up prizes of £2,000.

Lawrence, who lives in Preston, set up Typhoons RUFC in 2018 to create an adult rugby team which is all-inclusive, regardless of age, sex, gender identity, race, creed, disability or sexuality.

Nominated by team member, Kris Midgley, Lawrence had no idea that he had been selected as a finalist and was surprised by TV presenter Andi Peters and representatives from SPAR last month (October) at Preston Grasshoppers RFU.

Andi presented a flabbergasted Lawrence, alongside delighted team members, with a cheque for £10,000, celebrating his fantastic contribution to community sport.

Lawrence said: “It’s become obvious that inclusive clubs can be in every community and not limited to big cities. What we’ve seen tonight is a perfect example of how an inclusive rugby club can inspire people from all backgrounds to take up the game.

“It’s such an honour to even be nominated, just to know you’ve had an impact on someone’s life. This money will go towards helping us grow the club, providing funds for training equipment and travel to tournaments.”

In only 18 months, Typhoons RUFC has become one of the fastest growing adult clubs in the North West and in May 2019, the club’s committee was recognised by the Rugby Football Union for their outstanding contribution to volunteering within the community.

Now with official RFU accreditation and over 60 members, Typhoons RUFC provides a safe, supportive and community focused environment. The club regularly supports community events such as local festivals and Pride events, and members have even pulled a fire engine across Blackpool Promenade to raise money for the Fire Fighters’ Benevolent Fund.

Louise Hoste, SPAR UK managing director said: “Well done to Lawrence and all of our runners up. They epitomise the type of individuals we look to recognise with this award and they deserve to be celebrated.”

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Cat: News