Rugby boss given volunteer award

Andy Lynch, Jeff Ball and Danny Orr, from First Utility Super League side, Castleford Tigers.
Andy Lynch, Jeff Ball and Danny Orr, from First Utility Super League side, Castleford Tigers.

A rugby chairman from the county has been named volunteer of the year award in a national competition.

Cramlington Rockets’ chairman Jeff Ball, attended a ceremony at Super League Grand Final where he won the Volunteer of the Year title for his role in promoting the club and the sport, particularly around Magic Weekend and the campaign surrounding the Aviva Community Fund grant.

Jeff said: “I am blown away to receive this award. I was incredibly nervous and it was all a bit of a daze when they said my name.

“The Rockets are a special club who do a lot of good work in the community.

“The values that rugby league provides and the fun that can be had through the sport is unrivalled and I would encourage anyone who has yet to give it a go to get involved.”

Jeff, who is also head coach of the Under-14s and communication officer at the Rockets, was recognised for his hard work, such as selling 500 tickets for the Magic Weekend held at St James’ Park, Newcastle – the most for any community club in the country.

Through his communications role, he fronted a huge social media campaign which saw the Rockets secure a £25,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund – one of only three projects to win a Judges’ Choice award in the UK.

One of the stand-out achievements for the judges was his work to help form the award-winning, Rockets Community, the club’s school and community-based arm, promoting social inclusion and healthy recreation through rugby league.