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Koster Shortlisted For Aviva Community Player Of The Season

Nick Koster has been named on a shortlist of five inspirational players for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Community Player of the Season award.

Koster is joined on the list by three England internationals - Bath Rugby winger Semesa Rokoduguni, Saracens’ Chris Ashton and Worcester Warriors back Chris Pennell – while Newcastle Falcons’ Nili Latu is also on the shortlist.

The award celebrates those who go the extra mile to make a difference in their local community through charity work – emphasising how much good Aviva Premiership Rugby stars do in their own time.

Koster has been heavily involved in Community Foundation’s Spectrum Project - which targets service users with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) across Bristol and South Gloucestershire – while also playing an active role in Reading Stars, Golden Memories and Eagle Project.

“Nick Koster really is a community hero,” said Community manager, Craig Capel.

“His voluntary work with the Community Foundation, which he seeks out and organises off his own back, has been invaluable.

“Nick engages superbly with kids from a range of programmes and being shortlisted for this award is no less than he deserves for his service to the Communtiy Foundation. We really can’t thank him enough for his help.”

The judging panel for the award includes Rebekah Wallis - Board Director - People & Corporate Responsibility at Ricoh , Kenny Brown, PLAY Development Manager at Premiership rugby and Debbie Bullock, Community Investment Manager, Aviva UK.

Debbie Bullock, Community Investment Manager at Aviva, said: “It’s great to see community activity delivered and these players have really gone the extra mile to make a difference.

“It’s been really difficult to distinguish between them all because they are doing such great things.

“The theme running throughout the entire shortlist is that they all went above and beyond to support their various causes and activities.

“We reviewed all the applications and the supporting evidence, in order to select this fantastic shortlist.

“There were a lot of really strong entries, and everyone who has entered is doing a really great job in their own way in the local community.”

Rugby players are often seen as role models in their local communities, and the work they do can make a huge difference – especially with young people, which is why Aviva and Premiership Rugby have teamed up to recognise the differences players can make.

Former winners of the award include Saracens’ Jamie George, Dom Waldouck of Northampton Saints, Dean Schofield from Worcester Warriors and Bob Casey of London Irish, who won the award in 2012.

Bullock added: “The community part of Aviva Premiership Rugby is vital. The fact they have that in their governing body structure is really important, and Aviva is a massive supporter of the local community as well – with what we do through our Aviva Community Fund and other programmes.

“So there is that alignment in what we and Aviva Premiership Rugby do in the community.”

The winner will rub shoulders with the biggest names in English rugby at a glittering ceremony at the Lancaster  London Hotel, presented by BT Sport's Craig Doyle on Wednesday 17 May.

Along with the winner of the Aviva Community Player of the Season, the winners of the following awards will also be announced:

Hear the identity of the winners first on Twitter via the @premrugby account. Use hashtag #AvivaPremAwards to join the conversation.

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