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‘Inspirational’ Tommy scoops top gong at Dallaglio RugbyWorks Awards

Tommy Mann of Downland School took the top award at Thursday’s Dallaglio RugbyWorks Awards 2017.

Downland School has worked closely with Bristol Rugby Community Foundation and Tommy was presented with the Lawrence Dallaglio Special Achievement Award by Laurence himself - the first time the award has gone to a pupil from a school outside of London.

The Awards celebrate the successes of the RugbyWorks programme, which supports teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained further education, employment or training. The programme works with 14-17 year olds over a three-year intensive period within alternative provision schools.

The Lawrence Dallaglio Special Achievement Award, in particular is given to the young people that have made the most significant ‘journey’ on the programme so far. Like Lawrence, they have worked hard to overcome adversity and not let their environment stop them from achieving their aspirations.

What sets Tommy out from the rest is humility, for a young person in this day and age who doesn’t have all the luxuries of the latest clothes and technology, Tommy conducts himself in a manner that is not only inspiring, but also sets a standard within the RugbyWorks group that others look up to.

"It takes real commitment to be part of RugbyWorks and Tommy should be truly proud of his achievement.”

Laurence Dallaglio OBE

Lawrence Dallaglio, the charity’s founder and former England Rugby captain, said: “When you’ve had a tough start in life, uniting through sport, particularly rugby, can be immensely powerful. It takes real commitment to be part of RugbyWorks and Tommy should be truly proud of his achievement.”

Based around a curriculum of skills development through rugby, classroom based activities and mentoring, RugbyWorks is delivered in small groups to enable a profound impact for each young person. Working with corporate supporters, Dallaglio RugbyWorks provides vocational experiences for the young people. CV and interview workshops and work experience placements help build a path to sustained education, employment or training.

David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group EMEA, said: “We are very proud to continue to support the Dallaglio RugbyWorks Awards. Over the last three years, we’ve seen the positive impact the programme has on the young people it works with, providing them with vital vocational experience and supporting their personal development enhancing their career opportunities.”