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UCLan student is officially a rugby hero

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UCLan sports studies student Louis Mcilveen

Sports studies student Louis handed RFU award for his volunteering efforts

A sports student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been recognised for his dedication to volunteering within rugby union.

UCLan sports studies student Louis Mcilveen has been awarded the Real Rugby Hero Award from the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The honour is given to those who make a significant difference in volunteer roles for rugby in schools and clubs. It is the highest rugby volunteering award that any UCLan student has received.

Louis’ journey began towards the end of 2017, when the now 21-year-old started volunteering at Westholme School in Blackburn as well as Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club where he got his first involvement in coaching.

“From there, the learning experiences and opportunities I've had have been second to none,” he said.

From leading my first rugby session, training the under-13s team at Grasshoppers, to later having the confidence to run a taster session for senior girls at Westholme School.

“From leading my first rugby session, training the under-13s team at Grasshoppers, to later having the confidence to run a taster session for senior girls at Westholme School.”

His love for sport has led Louis to gaining further qualifications in coaching and officiating rugby as well as representing Grasshoppers and becoming a Young Rugby Ambassador.

His nomination for the award came from UCLan’s Nick Passenger, Course Leader for Sports studies and Sport and PE, who said his tireless efforts and attitude made him a worthy candidate.

Nick said: “He has been offered a number of opportunities by the course, as well as taking up opportunities that I have passed onto him with regard to extra-curricular rugby in schools.

“Through his support here (at UCLan) Louis was offered a number of opportunities by Westholme School which he volunteered tirelessly for, to the extent where some players have now been nominated for the Developing Player Pathway for Sale Sharks.”

Joe Dyda | 15 February 2019