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Sargent delighted to have been rewarded for volunteering

28 Nov 2016 18:39 | Sara Raine

PLYMOUTH Argaum’s Dan Sargent was thrilled to attend England’s game with Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday as part of the RFU’s bid to recognise volunteers.

Devon RFU asked clubs in the county to nominate individuals they felt worthy of an award.

Sargent and his club colleague Wayne Liddle were nominated, as were Withycombe’s Peter Farley, New Cross’ Carole Small and Old Plymothian and Mannamedian’s Karen Gerson and Sean Cooke.

Newton Abbot’s Sarah Brooks was also nominated for an RFU President’s Value the Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award.

All seven were rewarded with tickets to attend one of England’s autumn internationals.

Sargent, who is Argaum’s Young Rugby Ambassador, went to Saturday’s game against Argentina and he loved the experience.

“It was quite an exciting game and the (RFU) volunteer section was really good,” said the 24-year-old. “It was great to meet volunteers from around the country.

“The tickets we had were eight rows from the front so the atmosphere of being so close was really good.

“It was an amazing opportunity to watch an international game and it is really good to get rewarded for volunteering.”

He added:  “I would like to say thank you to my club and Devon for nominating me. To get nominated and be rewarded like that was a great feeling.

“I’d also like to thank the staff at Twickenham as well, as they were great. To reward volunteers is a really great idea.

“Volunteers don’t expect to be rewarded for just giving up a few hours, but it’s a great feeling to be.

“Hopefully, more people will be nominated in the future and they can have that experience as well.

“And, hopefully, it will also encourage more volunteers to get involved in this amazing sport.”

Sargent is certainly keeping busy at Plymouth Argaum. He and Liddle helped set up Argaum’s current junior and mini section and now Sargent has taken on more volunteering roles as he is currently unable to play due to injury.

“Myself and Wayne helped start the youth section. We have been there from the start,” said Sargent. “We got it off the ground and run it and also I have just taken on the role as first team manager, which involves checking availability of players and stuff like that.

“I play myself but I have injured my ACL, so I am out of the season.  I will find out if need an operation on December 13. Getting injured is not great but it’s good to still be part of the team by volunteering to take on a backroom job.”

On why he volunteers, Sargent said: “I started at Argaum at 13 and I came all the way through the then youth section to the seniors. The coach who took me though put in a lot of time and effort and I feel I am repaying the club by giving up my Sundays to try and help and develop new youth players and keep the club going.”

The Cornwall/Devon League club’s junior section has certainly taken off this season, with more and more youngsters turning up. They train at the University of St Mark and St John.

“We are lucky with how many children we have got coming in,” said Sargent.

“It is very rewarding to see young people coming into Argaum and enjoying what we have set up and run.”

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