Devon rugby volunteer wins national award
A hard-working rugby volunteer from Devon has scooped a national award.
Plymouth Argaum’s Bridgette Raymont was named as one of three winners in the annual Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards, which were held at Twickenham on Friday evening.
There were 43 regional winners invited to the glittering awards ceremony and Bridgette was joined by fellow Devon volunteer Greg Richards of Cullompton.
Bridgette was nominated for taking on a major role at Plymouth Argaum when they were struggling for help last season. She hadn’t previously been involved in rugby.
Her nomination mentioned how she had single-handedly transformed the outside of their clubhouse which had been a dumping ground for fly-tippers. It said she had repainted the inside and out of the club and created a car park and a beer garden. She has also taken on the match-day cooking for both the senior and mini sections at Argaum and maintained their five-star hygiene rating.
Bridgette admitted she was shocked when it was announced she was one of the three winners on Friday.
“I was really taken aback,” she said. “The room was full of people who all do amazing things for their clubs so I was genuinely shocked and overwhelmed. What an honour – just amazing.”
Bridgette said she never expected any reward for just helping out.
“I never gave it a second thought,” she said. “You just crack on and get on with things. You just try and do the best things for people and that’s that. Getting something like this is just a cherry on the top.”
She added: “I only really got involved because the club was experiencing problems and I could see that they could do with help. So I just got in there and got on with it, but that’s it now – I’m married to the place!”
All 43 regional winners were treated to a stay in London and tours of England’s training base at Pennyhill Park and Twickenham Stadium.
“James Haskell took us around Pennyhill,” said Bridgette. “He showed us all the gym equipment and talked us through what they do there. Then we went to Twickenham and got a guided tour, which was very interesting. We sat in the Royal Box for bit. It was brilliant. We were spoilt rotten.”
Bridgette’s prize included a crystal trophy and the use of a Mitsubishi car for a year. She is pictured (top) with her trophy and RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney, who hosted the table she was sat on.