Over twenty years of rugby volunteering for Lorry

RNRU President VAdm Ben Key presents Lorraine with her award Dec 19.
Lorraine with her RNRU Women’s team colleague, Jane West, and the referees ahead of Navy v RAF Apr 18.
Lorraine Osman, RNRU Value the Volunteer recipient 2019.

When Lorry Osman joined the Royal Navy she had never picked up a rugby ball, but after participating in some grassroots tag rugby sessions, her passion was ignited.  Lorry has been involved in the Royal Navy Rugby Union ever since.   Lorry was nominated for an England RFU Mitsubishi volunteer award in 2019. 

Her most recent involvement in Navy Rugby has been as a coach to the HMS Sultan Men’s XV.  The weekly training sessions have attracted 35 or more players from across the establishment, many are junior ratings completing their part 2 training as engineering technicians.  Cohesiveness and camaraderie quickly grew amongst the squad and this translated into excellent results on the pitch, with HMS Sultan topping the Eastern Region league and then the team continued on to even more success – reaching the final of the Navy Cup 2019 (open to all ships, establishment and unit teams).  This was the first time the Sultan team had achieved such success in 12 years.  Lorry is delighted with the success of the squad and looking forward to building on the 19/20 season once rugby is allowed to recommence – whenever that time comes. 

Lorry played rugby in the Royal Navy Women’s team for 10 years, building on her tag rugby start, playing between 2001 and 2011 in the second row and as tight-head prop.  So she has plenty of playing experience to draw upon now that the majority of her rugby involvement is as part of the Training Support Group.  Her coaching career started in 2006 when she did her Level 1 course and then she started volunteering with the Helston RFC girls’ section.  In 2014 she completed her Level 2 coaching course when she was involved in the Cornwall RFU county girls programme as a coach and team manager and in 2016 she took on the role of team manager for the Cornwall RFU Ladies team and facilitated their return to the Gill Burns county cup competition.  Further experience was gained coaching both male and female Air Squadron and Ships’ teams as she combined her love of rugby with her operational role in the Royal Navy.  She has also been an assistant team manager and then team manager for the RNRU Senior Women’s XV between 2016 – 2019.      

Lorry has had a long and distinguished career so far, rising through the ranks from Air Engineering Mechanic to become a Chief Petty Officer Air Engineering Technician (Avionics) or CPOAET(AV) for short!  She has worked in many Air Squadrons, mainly based at RNAS Culdrose, served in the aircraft carriers HMS ARK ROYAL and ILLUSTRIOUS, been on several operational tours to Afghanistan and has worked on Seaking helicopters – mark 5, 6 and 7 and Merlin Mk2.  When she joined HMS Sultan Initial Training Squadron in Feb 19 it was almost 21 years to the day since she had passed out as a newly qualified air engineering mechanic!  She is now a Phase 2 Divisional Officer, responsible for training and mentoring a whole new generation of air engineers, a role she is ideally suited for and thoroughly enjoys. 

When asked about her coaching she said “I am not one of those coaches who is all about the win at whatever cost.  I am about the little goals; this is something I learnt from playing and training with the RNRU Women and from the various coaches I have worked with over the years.” 

There isn’t much to do with rugby that Lorry hasn’t been involved with – she has started on the pathway towards her referee qualifications, was a military volunteer supporting the hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and recently was a flag bearer at the England v Ireland 6 Nations fixture at Twickenham in February.  For all her involvement in Navy Rugby, and in Rugby more widely, Lorraine was awarded her Value the Volunteer award by the RNRU President, Vice Admiral Ben Key, in December 2019.  Well done Lorry!

If you are interested in getting involved in the Royal Navy Rugby Union, in whatever capacity, please contact info@navyrugbyunion.co.uk

By line: Vice Chair
Images credit: Royal Navy Rugby Union © John Walton, Keith Woodland and Clare Valentine.