A member of staff at Nescot has been shortlisted for a national rugby award aimed at celebrating community heroes who go the extra mile for their club.
Rhiannon Kennedy, an IT Technician, plays for Streatham-Croydon RFC and is the only woman among the three players competing in a public vote to be named Rhino Rugby’s Prop Star of the Year.
The winner will be announced during the annual varsity match between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge at Twickenham on December 7, with England hero Martin Johnson presenting the award.
“It was a surprise to be nominated, but I feel really proud,” said Rhiannon, who played rugby as a child and joined Streatham-Croydon RFC just 18 months ago.
“Rugby is a really great sport, and I’d recommend it to anyone. My club also has a great community, and I’d count the players and staff as family.”
Rhiannon was nominated by her club captain, and in a video made for the competition she was praised by her teammates and staff.
“Rhiannon is a leader, not just on the women’s team but across the entire club,” said coach Nick Verdino. “Above and beyond is basically what she does.”
Club captain Millie Ross added: “She’s everything that women’s rugby is about, and she’s everything that rugby is about.”
Frances Rutter, Principal and CEO of Nescot, said: “Rhiannon was shortlisted from entries from across the country, which is a tremendous achievement.
“We’re also proud that she’s presenting women’s rugby, and we think she’d be a very worthy winner.”
Rhiannon will be a guest of Rhino Rugby at the awards next month, and she’ll take her father as a way of thanking him for the matches and training he took her to as a child.
She’s competing against James Cleverly, who plays for Beckenham RFC, and Jon Paul Hardman of Bolton RFC.
Entries were judged by England heroes Jason Leonard and Rochelle Clark, and Welsh star Adam Jones.
Adam said: “I was overwhelmed by the amount of great entries, but not surprised – I’ve always known props are something special, a different breed.”
Voting started on Monday (November 20) and closes at midnight on December 6.