Community Foundation coach Kris Tavender shortlisted for Parliamentary Award

Community Foundation coach Kris Tavender has been singled out for going above and beyond the call of duty by being shortlisted for a prestigious gong at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards.

The Parliamentary Community Awards will take place at the House of Commons on Tuesday, July 4th, with those nominated having demonstrated their outstanding commitment to the community through their passion, determination and dedication.

And Tavender has certainly done that, having been recognised for piloting a number of special educational needs and disability programmes, including the Spectrum Project, which fosters personal development in schools and via other specialist providers.

He is up against Bath Rugby Foundation outreach officer Joe Aygul and Sale Sharks Community Trust inclusion officer Vicky Irwin hor the Community Coach of the Year award.

Heather Taylor, NGB account manager for Sport England, had the unenviable task of helping whittle down a lengthy list of community coaches to a final three nominees but was satisfied with her and the seven-strong panel’s selections.

“Kris [Tavender] has worked extremely hard to deliver the Spectrum Project and helped young people with a wide variety of needs, even quitting his own full-time job to help deliver a host of schemes.

“He is an incredibly dedicated and hard-working individual, who has helped bring joy to so many people in the area.

The Parliamentary Community Awards will take place at the House of Commons next Tuesday (July 4th), with those nominated having demonstrated their outstanding commitment to the community through their passion, determination and dedication.

"Kris continues to redefine how rugby clubs - and sport in general - can engage and educate young and old people who live with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, life limiting conditions or special educational needs.”

Ben Breeze, chief community officer, Bristol Sport Foundation

“I am delighted to hear that Kris has been shortlisted for the Community Coach of the Year at Premiership Rugby’s Parliamentary Awards," said chief community officer, Ben Breeze.

"Kris continues to redefine how rugby clubs and sport in general can engage and educate young and old people who live with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, life limiting conditions or special educational needs.”

Every year, hundreds of people up and down the country give their time to help run Premiership Rugby initiatives such as – but not limited to – Aviva Tackling Numbers, HITZ, On The Front Foot, Rugby 4 All, Something To Chew On, Move Like A Pro, and Urban Rugby Squad.

From going the extra mile to help youngsters in the local area, to getting more girls and women get into the game, these groundbreaking schemes all seek to help the community reach new heights both on and off the rugby pitch.

“Every coach nominated has worked tirelessly to help improve their clubs and they are truly selfless individuals,” added Taylor.

“Their work has given opportunities to so many people and it was a privilege to listen to every one of their stories.

“Coaches are the backbone of any sport and the hard work they have put in can serve as an inspiration to us all."

The winner of the award will be announced on Tuesday 4 July at the illustrious Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards at the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons, and on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use the hashtag #RugbyChangingLives to join the conversation

Shortlist for the Community Coach of the Year award are:

Joe Aygul – Bath Rugby

Kris Tavender – Bristol Rugby

Vicky Irwin – Sale Sharks

The judging panel for the Community Coach of the Year award are:

Heather Taylor (Sport England), Lisa Bedding (Comic Relief), Dolly Theis (Centre for Social Justice), Suzy Christopher (BT Charity & Community Director), Matt Mitchell (Wooden Spoon), Heather Smith (Women in Sport) and Ross McKinley (Premier League).