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Mr Gower Volunteer of the Year nominee

24th May 2017

Dan Gower of Calton Primary School has been nominated for the inaugural Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards for their work as a rugby volunteer and their dedication to the game.

The awards are part of the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme which provides grassroots rugby clubs and the rugby community with opportunities to recognise and reward the volunteers who make up such an integral part of the game.

Dan Gower is a primary school teacher who understands the importance of instilling the core values of rugby into the primary curriculum. Dan continues to increase the profile of rugby within Calton Primary School by setting up after school clubs for both Key Stages, matches and including Higher Education institutions such as Hartpury and Gloucestershire University in training, competitions and extra-curricular activities.

During the proud year of the Rugby World Cup coming to England in 2015, Dan co-led an educational packed week filled with activities to promote the World Cup in all areas of the curriculum. The children learnt about the history of the Webb Ellis Cup and the countries that have been and are involved in this prestigious tournament. In addition, Dan provided creative, rugby themed activities for Maths, English and Science, all underpinned with the core principles of rugby. This fun packed week ended in a whole school tag rugby competition where each class was allocated a country and played in the tournament, regardless of their ability or skills.

This celebration also included the involvement of Hartpury Students who led training sessions and refereed the matches for the tournament. Dan had a massive involvement in the training, planning and running of this, often meeting up with the Hartpury tutors in his own time to make sure that the event ran a smoothly as possible.

Dan has been at Calton Primary School for 3 years now and has transformed their performance on and off the pitch. 3 years ago Calton would have just about been able to field a rugby team for the occasional tournament once or twice a year and now he has nearly 100 children wanting to play rugby for the school team.

Dan has led training session every week and has joined the local Gloucester School league, where they reached the semi-finals in their second season. He has also been instrumental in making sure that the children understand the expectations of them within the classroom in order for them to be able to represent the school team.

‘Mr Gower understands that not all of us are good at Maths or English and always makes time for us to play rugby, which I really enjoy.’

Dan has led, organised and financed a school tag rugby tournament at Calton Primary School with 12 schools, which once again included the well known Hartpury College. Dan met with the Hartpury leaders to make sure that attending schools would receive first class training and also understand the rules when refereeing the matches.

Schools attended the whole day tournament, where Gloucester’s Jumptastic were also present as prize sponsors. The day consisted of 4 games running at once, cup, plate and runners up competition all in smooth and seamless system.

‘This has been the first rugby event to be hosted at Calton Primary School and Dan has been instrumental in the organisation of this event. To organise matches is complex enough, but to do something of this magnitude is something else!’ one teacher stated.

Finally, Dan has developed positive links with the local Rugby Club, Widden Old Boys, where he continues to coach and motivate children to continue playing rugby. Dan is developing methods to get primary school children to continue their involvement in rugby.

Dan has and is continuing to improve rugby at Primary School level, he states ‘Rugby is so important. Children who are unable to travel to weekend clubs need to have the experience of playing rugby at school. The values and attitudes that are instilled in rugby really are important inside and outside the classroom.’