SUFFOLK SPORTS AWARDS: The Touchline Sports Club of the Year Award

The annual Suffolk Sports Awards will take place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, tonight. Fourteen awards will be presented and today, we look at the contenders for The Touchline Sports Club of the Year Award. Next Wednesday we’ll bring you the winners from the ceremony.

Lowestoft & Yarmouth Rugby Union FC

Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club was founded in 1878 and the first team currently play in London Division 2 North, the highest level achieved by the club, following two promotions in three seasons.

Last year the junior section achieved the RFU Seal of Approval and were awarded the national Seal of Approval club-of-the-year award.

To build on this, the club has appointed a youth development officer to expand the youth programme. Funding secured, has enabled the club to provide an outreach programme of tag rugby to some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach young people in the area.

Working with 18 schools, the club has engaged with 490 young people in tag rugby. The club sponsored a Yartoft Cup and league competition between Lowestoft, Beccles and Yarmouth, focusing on promoting the core values and sportsmanship.

The club mini bus is available for school and community groups to use for free to enable them to take part in sporting activities and attend fixtures.

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This year the club also started a girls section which has proven to be very popular to date. The club actively encourages volunteering among the young people and are part of the RFU-inspired programme.

St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoe Association

St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing Association is a remarkable success story in bringing dinghy sailing and canoeing to a broad and diverse section of the community.

The club is an RYA Training Centre and a Sailability Centre. At the start of the season the club had 26 individual members and six group members and was delivering activity on the water to approximately 180 people over six days a week.

The club organised an Open Weekend as part of the RYAs ‘Push the Boat out’ initiative and 170 visitors came. making it one of the most successful ‘Push the Boat Out’ events in the East.

It also led to the Suffolk Scouts joining the club and holding sailing sessions for scouts from across Suffolk.

Twenty families and three more individuals have now joined meaning a 40 per cent increase in core membership.

This year also saw the introduction of fortnightly ‘Topper Team Race Training’ monthly ‘Women on Water’ sailing and a series of adult start to sail sessions.

Framlingham Flyers

Not only does the club, pictured, have a thriving adult section with more than 100 members, but the junior section has also grown to 80 members meaning the club now has a waiting list.

The beginners running group have 30 members and after 11 weeks of training will compete in their first 5k race alongside the adult section of the club.

For a relatively small club, Framlingham has a good turn out and success in many local races. The Flyers have become a club to be reckoned with.

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