Royal Navy Rugby Union Recognises Volunteers at United Services Portsmouth

Elaine Lindsay receives her ‘Value the Volunteer’ award from Admiral Ben Key, Royal Navy Rugby Union Vice President
Mike Davis-Marks shakes hands with Admiral Ben Key at Burnaby Road
Chairman, Paul Nelson, proudly receives United Services Portsmouth RFC RFU accreditation certificate

Two members of the United Services Portsmouth Rugby Football Club were recognised for their valuable contribution to rugby by the Royal Navy Rugby Union last Wednesday.  USPRFC is one of the two ‘voting member’ clubs affiliated to the RNRU, (the other is Devonport Services RFC) and as such the RNRU are keen that the excellent services of the volunteers at the club are highlighted and acknowledged.   

The final of the Royal Navy Regional Rugby competition, the Inverdale Challenge, was the ideal opportunity to invite friends and family to Burnaby Road (the home of the RNRU and also of USPRFC), and to present the awards to the deserving recipients.  The first award went to Mrs Elaine Lindsay who has been a key member of the very successful and vibrant youth section.  Currently Team Manager to the Under 16s age group, she also holds the position on the Junior Executive Committee as the Pitch Co-ordinator.  She has held this role for the past 3 years and it is testament to her organisational and diplomatic skills that she has managed to successfully co-ordinate the 10 age groups every Sunday ensuring all 250 children have the opportunity to play in a safe and structured environment - with only two pitches at her disposal!

The second recipient was Mr Mike Davis-Marks.  Mike is the Chairman of USP youth section and has been involved with them for over 10 years.  He started his coaching career back in 2007, gaining a Level 1 coaching qualification and a referee qualification.  His dedication and commitment have seen the youth section flourish during that time, with teams at age groups ranging from Under 7s to Under 16s.  In particular, he is an advocate of the importance of coaching activity and continuous personal development and he has been the driving force behind ensuring that all groups have RFU qualified coaches.  The club’s work in the area of 'Safeguarding' has been noted by the RFU who advise other clubs to follow their lead.

RNRU Vice President, Admiral Ben Key, presented the awards on behalf of the RNRU Chairman, Colonel Ewen Murchison.  He was also able to present the Club Chairman, Mr Paul Nelson, with a certificate to record that USPRFC are now a fully accredited RFU club in their own right.  This is no mean feat and is the result of lots of hard work by all members of USPRFC.  In order to gain RFU accreditation the club has had to write a development plan and an action plan designed to set the club on a path to an even better future, ensuring all sections of the club are involved.  Paul was rightly proud of how much he and all the volunteers at USPRFC have achieved.  We wish them all the best for their continued success with their youth section and their adult teams.  For more information about USPRFC go to

Images Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland