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Rugby group earns award from Mayor of London for coaching youngsters at Gants Hill and Woodford Green schools

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 October 2019

The Hurricanes receiving an award at the Mayor of London's Volunteering Awards 2019 at City Hall. Picture Kois Miah

The Hurricanes receiving an award at the Mayor of London's Volunteering Awards 2019 at City Hall. Picture Kois Miah

Kois Miah

A rugby group has received an award from the Mayor of London for its work putting on coaching sessions for children at two schools in Redbridge.

The Hurricanes provided the coaching to pupils at Gearies Primary School, Gants Hill and Hatton Special School, Woodford Green.

An inclusive tag rugby tournament was created by the group to provide opportunities for children with autism and other special educational learning or physical needs.

As well as delivering the coaching sessions, instructors visited schools to promote the tournament and helped schools to set up their own clubs.

The Hurricanes now has the backing of the England Rugby community coaching team and Bancroft Rugby Club - together they are planning on opening a weekend rugby club.

The group's efforts were rewarded by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, at the Mayor's Volunteering Awards.

Held at City Hall on Monday, October 14, the awards celebrate the contribution of the capital's volunteers and community groups.

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The Hurricanes, which has delivered 32 weeks of coaching for children who had never had the chance to play sport, won in the activity and wellbeing category.

Mr Khan said: "It's so important to celebrate the wonderful work of our city's volunteers and community groups.

"Volunteering presents opportunities for all Londoners to have their voices heard and make a real difference to our communities at a time when we have seen key support services cut back.

"To all the nominees and winners, and to the countless other volunteers who generously dedicate themselves to helping fellow Londoners: thank you."

Among the award winners were individuals who have spent decades helping charities as well as volunteer groups supporting the community.

Debbie Weekes-Bernard, deputy mayor for social integration, social mobility and community engagement, said: "Volunteering empowers Londoners to become active citizens in their communities and allows them to connect with others from diverse backgrounds.

"That's why we want to make volunteering opportunities as accessible as possible so that everyone can take part.

"The winners of these awards have made wonderful contributions within their communities, and I would like to thank them and every Londoner who volunteers for all their hard work."

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