Worcester MP Robin Walker has hailed the achievements of Worcester Warriors Under 16 Academy player Cheick Kone at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards held at Westminster this week.
More than 310,000 people every year are assisted in some way through Premiership Rugby’s ‘Plan to Improve a Million Lives’, with initiatives designed for all walks of life.
Robin was delighted to attend the event celebrating some of the success stories from the past year held at the House of Commons. Cheick won the PLAY Achiever of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher which recognises those who have overcome physical, cultural or social barriers to become involved in the game whilst embodying the spirit of the PLAY campaign.
Cheick was born in Ivory Coast and had no previous knowledge of rugby before he moved to England. After attending a Project Rugby session, he is now a regular player for Wolverhampton Rugby Club and now part of Warriors’ Under-16 Academy having demonstrated his ability. Cheick is now calmer, more positive about his future and has settled down in school with his academic studies.
Cheick was the first of four award winners on stage to receive his award from Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies.
Speaking after the event, Robin said:
“I was pleased for Cheick, after only having picked up a rugby ball late last year to have progressed so quickly through the ranks at Worcester Warriors. He has come a long way in such a short period of time, from the Ivory Coast to the House of Commons at Westminster.”
“I believe sport can help to create positive change in Worcester. From health, exercise and education, to social inclusion, we can use the power of sport to help change lives for the better. Cheick’s example highlights how Rugby and sport can be used as a force for good.”
Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies said:
“It is fantastic to see how committed Premiership Rugby and its clubs are to improving local communities. Project Rugby, for example, is doing great work bringing young people from BAME communities into the game for the first time and HITZ is helping to get children back into education or employment.
“Walking Rugby is also helping older people to overcome social isolation and loneliness, which is great for me to see as Minister for Loneliness. I applaud all of this great work and all of the people being celebrated at the Premiership Rugby Community Awards.”
Winners of the 2019 Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards:
• PLAY Achiever of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher – Cheick Kone (Worcester Warriors)
• BREAKTHRU Achiever of the Year Award, supported by SCL – Jared Spence (Gloucester Rugby)
• Community Volunteer of the Year Award, supported by CVC – Connie Perkins (Wasps)
• Community Coach of the Year Award, supported by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union – Craig Monaghan (Sale Sharks)
For more information on the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards, please see:
To read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit www.premiershiprugby.com/in-the-community or join the conversation #ImproveAMillionLives