The BT Volunteer of the Month Award for December has been awarded to Paul Vavangas of Ellon Rugby, for his contribution to the club through his new role as chairman and efforts as a youth coach.
The 38-year-old has always been involved with his local club and recently became chairman to relieve pressure from other coaches who were occupied with other roles.
Paul’s first engagement as chairman involved turning the club into a registered charity through the completion of associated paperwork in record time.
With the club’s new status as a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation), Paul has encouraged and developed Ellon Rugby from having a small committee to now boasting 11 trustees from across the club.
On receiving the award, which was presented by Ellon director of rugby, Gareth Kemp, Paul said: “To have been recognised is a great honour and I think it’s outstanding that Scottish Rugby take the time and trouble to do so, however I sincerely believe this award should be shared among all those who contribute so greatly to Ellon Rugby”.
“When I look around Ellon Rugby Club I see so many people giving their time freely to coach, support, help and organise and this is replicated in all of the clubs across the country.”
Paul came late to the game when his second child started playing with Ellon, and he has since taken to the sport in a major way through his role as both chairman and coach.
“Having never played rugby, I took my son Logan to a training session and from the first moment he loved everything about it, the sport, the teamwork and the culture.
“Nowadays, you can rarely find him without a rugby ball in his hands!”
The S1 and under 18/15 girls coach also assists Gareth with all aspects of coaching.
He said: “As for coaching, I have attended a couple of the Scottish Rugby coaching workshops and have enjoyed working with different coaches across the age groups, it has really helped with my own development.”
Paul worked tirelessly to develop Ellon Rugby into a SCIO and he believes it will help improve the club’s resources.
“Our charity status allows us to access grants, awards and donations which may otherwise have been unavailable to us.
“We want to ensure rugby is accessible to all and isn’t limited by lack of resource”.
“I believe it will prove to be an important step for Ellon Rugby to develop and become an even more sustainable club,” he added.