Wasps coach up for award at House of Commons

Date: 12 Jul 2019

Wasps HITZ Officer Anthony O’Reilly has been shortlisted for the Community Coach of the Year award, supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union, ahead of the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Community Awards at the House of Commons on Wednesday 17 July.

Anthony is one of three coaches up for the gong, which recognises those who have demonstrated their outstanding commitment to the community through their passion, determination and dedication.

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 – HITZ, Project Rugby, Tackling Health and Move Like A Pro.

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

Wayne Morris, Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Director at Premiership Rugby, had the unenviable task of helping whittle down a lengthy list of community coaches to a final three nominees but was satisfied with his and the panel’s final selections.

“All of the nominees have clearly gone above and beyond their day-to-day roles, with each nominee adding value to their role in a different way,” he said.

“With the support of their Premiership Rugby clubs, all of the nominees have created real change in their local community.”


Shortlist for Community Coach of the Year award, supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby Union:

  • James Collins Clark – Harlequins – James has been delivering the Project Rugby programme at the Harlequins Foundation and has developed the programme in Hounslow and a transition hub in partnership with Grasshoppers RFC. James has invested his time in developing relationships with key stakeholders, gone above and beyond and introduced the game to new schools and audiences. This season James has engaged more than 450 people and retained over 130 in the game.
  • Craig Monaghan – Sale Sharks – After being medically discharged from the army, Craig starting playing rugby for his local side Bowden RUFC. This gave him a reason to get up in the morning and finding focus through sport helped with his mental health. After a chance meeting, Craig has now joined the Sale Sharks Community Trust and is now the project lead for Sharks Forces and Balls to That. With Craig’s support both programmes have grown significantly in terms of reach and activity and to date more than 200 ex-forces personnel and 600 people have engaged with the programmes. Craig has used his life-changing experiences to help other people and has allowed the Sale Sharks Community Trust to connect better with other ex-forces personnel in the region as well as being able to adapt the programmes to meet the needs of the participants.
  • Anthony O’Reilly – Wasps – Anthony has used his academic struggles as motivation to not only better himself, but to go on and help others too. Anthony is dedicated to ensuring that each individual on the Wasps HITZ programme is given the belief that they can transform their lives and that anything is possible. He places great importance on enabling the students to experience new opportunities and understand the importance of education.


To read more about Premiership Rugby’s community programmes, please visit www.premiershiprugby.com/in-the-community while you can join in the conversation via the hashtag #ImproveAMillionLives