The Super League trophy wasn’t the only prize handed out last Saturday as Wakefield Wildcats duo John Holroyd and Darren Fisher along with a number of other volunteers and community clubs rewarded for their efforts over the last 12 months.
The 2012 Engage Community Awards were handed out in the Captains Lounge at Old Trafford with six volunteers and three clubs all having their moment in the limelight.
Holroyd scooped the Ground Person of the Year for his work with Stanley Rangers and Yorkshire which he combines with being Trinity’s head scout. Meanwhile the Wildcats scholarship coach Fisher won the Coach of the Year for his fine work with Eastmoor Dragons open age, under 8’s and Yorkshire under 19’s.
All winners were nominated via the RFL’s regions from across England and after being shortlisted were picked by a special selection panel.
Every nominee was invited to the climax of the Stobart Super League season and was treated to corporate hospitality as a “thank you” for their superb efforts.
Holroyd has been a Trinity supporter all of his life and was thrilled to pick up his award.
“I am absolutely delighted to receive the award which recognises the hard work I have put in at Stanley over recent times,” he said.
“Three years ago the council stopped cutting the fields where Stanley play and I put my hand up to help out and it went from there really.
“The club panicked at the time and bought a mower that was not fit for purpose, then I helped them choose one that would be suitable and helped adapt the other one with aid of my engineering background on the railways.
“Along with help from Bathy (Steve Dutton – Wildcats groundsman) we adjusted the smaller mower so it could spray weed killer and brush the grass to make it nice and stripy.
“I have spent loads of time at the club this year and with the amount of rainfall we have had I have been cutting the grass three times a week throughout the summer and being a Stanley lad I am so proud to help the club out and be rewarded for it.
“While helping out Rangers I continue to work at the Wildcats which I have been doing since 1987 and with me being head scout it is exciting times with Ryan Hudson recently being brought in as head of Youth Development at the club. I found Gareth Ellis when nobody else would look at him and we are looking to do that once again as me and the new scouting system look to unearth the next big talent from the Wakefield area.”
Fisher was also overjoyed at being recognised by the RFL for putting the hours into the community game and gave his own example as to why he picked up his award:
“I am really happy to have picked up this award and it is a massive pat on the back for myself, I must be doing something right.
“One of the main things I have implemented is the eating and diet habits of players at the club, especially the youngsters. Off my own back I found a sponsor to provide a carton of milk for each player from our under 8’s to under 16’s after each game. I found out they were drinking high sugar energy drinks and they are no good for eight year old kids whereas milk offers a great amount of protein and carbohydrate so it is a fantastic nutritional drink after a game.
“A big thing was having meetings and workshops with all their parents, coaches and kitchen staff to make them understand how important having a good pre-match meal is and having breakfast every morning before school to ensure they are eating the right foods at the right times.
“I return coaching the scholarship at the Wildcats in November which is something I’m really looking forward to working closely with John Kain in mentoring the under 16’s.”
The 2012 Engage Community Award winners are:
(club/league and region in brackets)
CHILDREN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Geoff Alford (Thatto Heath Crusaders/North West)
CLUB OF THE YEAR
Thatto Heath Crusaders
COACH OF THE YEAR
Darren Fisher (Eastmoor Dragons/Yorkshire)
GROUND PERSON OF THE YEAR
John Holroyd (Stanley Rangers/Yorkshire)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Colin Cooper (Hunslet Parkside & Leeds District Junior League/Yorkshire)
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Carol Bailey (Hull/Yorkshire)
YOUNG VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Leia Cole (Beverley Braves/Yorkshire)
ENGAGE WITH YOUR CLUB
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.