Friday 10th May saw the annual end of season awards dinner for Ospreys Rugby in partnership with Orchard at their resident playing ground, Liberty Stadium. Buzz went along to support a night of celebrations for the Welsh Rugby team as well as community rugby around West Wales. The night was a celebration and testament to the Ospreys team, supporters and sponsors who have worked together to create the club that stands today.
The night saw Olly Cracknell win Coaches’ and Players’ Player of the Year awards making him the big winner of the night.. Another big award of the night was the Osprey of the Year, which went to Ceri Pass who is the longest-serving member of staff at the club, working in the finance department. Her hard work and commitment to the club was recognised with the award and a pair of Sony headphones, the award’s sponsors.
With a desire to build on the impact the Ospreys have on the community, there were plenty of awards to recognise the contribution local clubs have made to Welsh rugby over the year. Community club of the year went to Pyle RFC, Community School of the year went to Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr and the Community player of the year going to Phil Jones. As well as this, the Wheelchair Rugby player of the year award went to Gareth Stokes.
An emotional part of the night was the Women’s Player of the Year award which is also known as The Elli Norkett Memorial Award. Having been the youngest player to represent Wales in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup, Elli tragically died two years ago and being a previous member of the Ladies Ospreys team, an award was created in her name. This year saw Amy Evans given the title.
A successful night of celebrations followed, with Ospreys’ big clash with Llanelli’s Scarlets to come on the 18th May. That match, a playoff for European rugby, will decide who wins a place in the European Champions Cup next season.
words Poppy Manning