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The University of York have been recognised with an award for its commitment to providing mixed touch Rugby through the O2 Touch Rugby programme.
Last Friday, The Legacy Gold Standard Award was awarded to the University by Rob Andrew, Director of Professional Rugby for the Rugby Football Union (RFU) during a ceremony at York Sport Village.
The programme was set up by the RFU to encourage players of all abilities to participate in mixed touch rugby. Emily Hearle, Sport Development Manager at York Sport, laid the groundwork for the university's involvement in the programme. The scheme is now run by O2 Touch Rugby Activators Ruth Whitehead and Robert Van Doorneward.
The award was given for achieving a gold standard in Touch, and exhibiting good numbers of new, mixed players, engaged volunteers, strong administration and links with local community.
Former England international Andrew presented the award, with various regional rugby dignitaries and members of the university commercial services department also in attendance.
Keith Morris, Head of York Sport, told Nouse: "The developments in recent years have been fantastic. Emily's work within the Student Union built the foundations and then the Union guys have taken that on and have just kept it developing.
"There have been Give it a Go sessions and leagues set up. We received another award on the pitch at Twickenham a few years ago for touch and the fact that we are getting another award shows that the programme has developed further, which gives strength to what we are offering on campus.
"When you hear these things straight from the Director of Professional Rugby it gives it much more gravitas."
University of York Sport President Grace Clarke said, "It was an absolutely pleasure to meet Rob Andrew and accept the O2 Touch Rugby Legacy Gold Standard Award on behalf of Emily Hearle and the wonderful O2 Touch Rugby Activators.
"It was a sunny day and perfect conditions for the students who showcased the great work of the programme."