Robert Clack nominated at National Rugby Awards
PUBLISHED: 11:22 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 29 August 2019
The new school year isn't yet underway but already Robert Clack School have plenty to celebrate thanks to the National Rugby Awards.
The hard work and efforts of the institution have seen them nominated in the School of the Year category of this year's star-studded event, with an awards ceremony set to take place at Twickenham Stadium tonight (Thursday).
Created to honour the achievements of every rugby club in the country, the National Rugby Awards recognises all those who contribute to rugby union in England
Committed coaches, passionate players and all those behind the scenes are set to be recognised at the home of rugby - with few personifying the spirit of the game quite like Robert Clack.
With no culture of rugby in schools in the area, staff have fought to make rugby a mainstay of the PE curriculum and the recreational sport of choice for the sixth form.
The school travels with two teams from each age group to play games in Kent and Suffolk, winning many trophies and excelling in leagues and tournaments.
They have taken the scalps of top-flight schools with extensive, fully-funded rugby programmes and some have even gained places in the Saracens Development Player Programme.
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Robert Clack's achievements have also caught the eye of rugby's elite, namely Quins back row Chris Robshaw.
The former England World Cup captain is an ambassador for the National Rugby Awards, impressed by the work that he believes is pivotal to the grassroots of the sport.
He said: "Schools are hugely important, it's where you find out about rugby at that age and it's where you find out what you love about it and what you enjoy in the sport.
"You learn the fundamentals, it's a great place to develop and move forward and create those bonds.
"A lot of my memories from schools always have a story, there's things that you remember 15 years later and that you can have a laugh and joke about with all the people who were there.
"Most importantly for me it was an escape from the classroom, playing rugby was my happy place at school and provided a lot of enjoyment."
*The National Rugby Awards recognises the outstanding work done by coaches, players and supporters across the country.
There is no other event which brings together the clubs and players from all the leagues in England, from grassroots to elite. See nationalrugbyawards.co.uk.