Nominations for Rugby volunteers required

Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) and Ulster Rugby’s annual competition, Real Rugby Heroes, which rewards volunteers across community rugby, has returned for its fifth year - and local clubs encouraged to enter the volunteer recognition award

The Real Rugby Heroes Award seeks out volunteers who make an invaluable contribution to the game at a grassroots level, enriching communities across Ulster.

Deadline for entries is February 17.

Anyone can nominate by filling out the online application form at

This year, Real Rugby Heroes will spotlight three categories - administrative volunteers, women and girl’s rugby volunteers, and youth and mini rugby volunteers.

Each category winner will win a £1,000 bursary for their club and will be invited to the end of season Ulster Rugby Awards Dinner, where one of the three winners will be selected as Ulster Rugby’s Volunteer of the Year for the 2019/20 season.

Jo Aston, Managing Director of SONI, said rugby across Ulster plays an important part in communities, particularly at a grassroots level.

“The clubs provide people with an opportunity not only to enjoy the game, but also enrich family and community life. Behind the scenes, there are so many selfless people who give up their time to ensure the smooth running of their clubs,” aid Jo.

“Each year we meet incredible volunteers who do so much. We are delighted to launch the fifth year of the competition and look forward to receiving the nominations.”

Barry Willis, Rugby Operations Manager at Ulster Rugby said volunteer reward and recognition is high on their list of priorities.

“The change of competition format, to include different categories each year, provides a new opportunity to nominate volunteers who make a huge difference to the club that could have previously been overlooked,” he said.

“There are so many different and vital roles to each club that need to be recognised, not only by the club, but from the players, parents and supporters. We look forward to receiving this year’s nominations and would like to remind everyone that previous entrants can be nominated again.”

SONI is responsible for the safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity across Northern Ireland. Currently, SONI is developing a greener energy system, as a direct response to the climate crisis.

The transformation will enable the power system to handle 95% of renewable energy at any one time, a significant increase from the current figure of 65%.

For more information on SONI visit or follow on twitter @soni_ltd

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