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Home > News > Bumble Bees are buzzing at Wagon Lane
Your News Bumble Bees are buzzing at Wagon Lane

SOCIAL inclusion has long been a key component of the Rugby Football Union’s work in the community and this year’s list of winners in the annual RFU President’s XV Awards, supported by QBE, has Bradford & Bingley RFC taking the national accolade in that specific category.

The fifth year of the President’s XV Awards scheme has again delivered a rich variety of projects and ideas aimed at promoting and developing the game across the full width of the rugby community and the Bees award underlines just how wide that is.

The creation by the Wagon Lane club of the first mixed-ability team in England, the Bumble Bees Barbarians, which blends able-bodied adult players with team-mates with learning difficulties in full contact rugby in a controlled environment has earned them top spot in the Social Inclusion section of the awards.

As a result, John Owen, Immediate Past-President of the Rugby Football Union, will be at Wagon Lane on Saturday (April 9) to present the trophy and a £500 cheque to the club at a specially arranged lunch.

The Bumbles have played a handful of games this season, among them their first international fixture in Wales, where they were hosted by Llanelli Warriors.

The team was formed after rugby fan Anthony Brooke asked a course tutor why he wasn’t able to get a game anywhere. He was given the task of finding out whether any opportunities existed in Yorkshire and when his researches failed to uncover any team, Bradford and Bingley club agreed to support the RFU move to raise and train a team.

Coaching, which was initially provided by the RFU staff under the direction of West Yorkshire Rugby Development Officer Hamish Pratt, is now run by volunteer members of the Bradford and Bingley Club and the rest, as they say, is what will bring John Owen to Wagon Lane on Saturday.

“I’m very proud that the RFU has been associated with this project from the early stages and has played a part in making the Bumble Bees a sustainable team,” said RDO Hamish Pratt: “The award, which is the icing on the cake for everyone involved since those early days, is a credit to the many people who have worked behind the scenes to make it happen.

“A lot of very committed people within the club, especially Team Manager Mark Goodwin, who first took up the challenge thrown down by Anthony Brooke, have worked hard to create the team we have today and those people thoroughly deserve this President’s XV recognition.”

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