East London Rugby Club members enjoy virtual end of season awards ceremony

East London's Will Brown

East London's Will Brown - Credit: Archant

East London Rugby Club celebrated its first virtual end of season awards ceremony on Saturday, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

East London Rugby Club held their awards night online

East London Rugby Club held their awards night online - Credit: Archant

Prizes were ‘handed out’ online with the UK still observing a lockdown to help prevent the spread of the virus, with almost 80 club members tuning into a Facebook Live meeting.

Chairman Simon Crick revealed the various winners from the 2019/20 season, from his home in Romford, and trophies and shields will be presented at a late date once social distancing rules are relaxed.

Players and supporters watched from their homes, with some tuning in from as far away as South Africa, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Colombia.

Some gathered in groups to form online Zoom parties which went on well after the winners had been announced.

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Crick said: “Our end-of-season awards celebration is always a popular occasion and this year we were determined it would be no different, despite being under lockdown.

“It brought us all together while observing social distancing, to celebrate our players and our season, thank those club members who are part of the response to the coronavirus crisis, but also remember those who have lost family and friends to this horrible pandemic.”

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Will Brown took the first team’s player of the season award, while Sam Cassidy was named most improved player and Chris Brown the best newcomer after they finished fifth in London Three Essex, and Rachel Edmead won the Vixens player of the season honours, with Deepti Davenport their most improved member and Steph Keyworth the best newcomer after a runners-up finish in National Challenge One East.

John Hunter, Jade Ruming and Aaron Crane won player of the season, most improved and best newcomer respectively for the men’s second string, who finished third in Merit Table Three, while John Salthourse, Adam Rumblow and Mohamed Mohamed took the third team prizes, after they finished second in Merit Table Six West.

Charlie Tippetts was named the club’s young player of the season, while Dave Gibson took the clubperson of the season award. And there was a special recognition award for Deborah Bird, while Frank Murphy claimed the Chairman’s award.

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