At a lunch attended by around sixty other constituent body volunteers Hertfordshire Rugby Football Union nominated our Club Ambassador, Ross Hopcroft, as their England Rugby Mitsubishi volunteer of the year for 2019. As a result Ross will represent Hertfordshire at the national awards ceremony to be held on September 13th at RFU headquarters in Twickenham.


Alongside Torran Macdougall, SOHK Schools Manager, who is now delivering the programme, Ross, in his capacity as President of Tabard Rugby Football Club, was instrumental in establishing a SOHK presence at Hertswood Academy in Borehamwood at the start of the new school term in September last year.

The programme is in its first year and every Wednesday Ross picks up the students from school in the club minibus and drives them to Tabard RFC’s clubhouse in Radlett. Here the boys experience SOHK classroom based learning activities followed by ‘Living the Values’ in the afternoon on the rugby field.

At the end of each session Ross ensures the students are rewarded with treats usually in the form of chocolate muffins or cookies washed down with hot chocolate in the winter time and chilled orange squash in the warmer months.

Day school trips to Harrow School and Ealing Trailfinders RFC have been very successful and have helped broaden the students overall outlook on life.

It is hugely encouraging that the school has already committed to a second year of the programme and Ross, working hand in glove with Torran, is looking to expand the charity’s footprint in Hertfordshire by introducing further programmes to other schools in the county.

As President of Tabard, Ross is delighted that five of the students from Hertswood Academy have joined the U14’s team at Tabard and have made several Sunday morning appearances for the team.

Ross has raised over £15K for the SOHK Hertswood programme as well as introducing nearly 40 subscribing SOHK Friends to the charity.

Mitsubishi Partnership Engagement Manager, Martin Woodward, presents Ross with his Award 

He is also working with a professional third party fund raising organisation, T4C, to raise more money both for SOHK and Tabard RFC and hopes that the partnership between club, SOHK and the community will expand and flourish.

About the Programme

England Rugby and Mitsubishi Motors have developed the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme to provide grassroots rugby clubs, Constituent Bodies and the rugby community with opportunities to recognise and reward the volunteers who make up an integral part of the game.

There are over 100,000 volunteers who give back to grassroots rugby, week in, week out. From the kit washers to the line painters and the bus drivers to the tea makers, the game that we all know and love wouldn’t be the same without the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Say thank you to the volunteers at your club or organisation who deserve to be rewarded for their efforts by nominating them for the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.

The overarching aim of these awards is to identify and recognise volunteers who have made a great contribution to their club, referees society, education establishment and across the rugby community over the past 12 months.  No matter what the role – on or off the pitch, behind the scenes or on the committee, we want you to nominate the volunteers who are doing a great job for your club - day in, day out. 

If you'd like to find out more about Ross's work and become a Friend of SOHK  Click Here