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Tralee Volunteers Make It a Double

10th December 2008 By Munster Rugby

Tralee Volunteers Make It a Double

Two of Tralee RFC’s finest; Richard White and David Condon have been named joint winners of the Right Price Tiles Volunteer of the Month for their outstanding contribution to rugby in Tralee over the last decade or three!

Munster Rugby is pleased to celebrate the launch of the Right Price Tiles Volunteer Recognition Awards for the 2008-09 season by announcing what is our first ever double award since the inception of the scheme back in 2005.

RICHARD WHITE

Richard White’s love of rugby was forged while attending Presentation College, Bray, Co. Wicklow in the late sixties and early seventies and on his return to Tralee he joined the local rugby club. He soon found himself involved on the committee and one of his first jobs during the ‘disco’ years was to use his own vinyl records while acting as D.J to help keep costs down. He also managed to moonlight as cashier/doorman for the next 5-6 years when he wasn’t spinning the discs!

In 1991 Richard became coach of the U12 team. For the best part of the next decade he juggled this with the role of youth officer which he still holds today. Back then there were roughly 5-6 coaches and 60 underage players in Tralee RFC. However Richard knew there was enormous interest in rugby in the area so he set out in his own car and also organised buses to collect children to bring them to the club. Tralee RFC now boasts approximately 40 coaches and 400 underage players with teams represented at all age grades from U6 through to U18. A culmination of this development was seen a few weeks ago when U8, U10 and U12 teams travelled to play Cork Constitution while on the same day Con sent U9 and U11 teams to Tralee.

Richard’s enthusiasm is best summed up by a fellow Club member who claims "Richard hounds our volunteers to go on coaching courses, so much so that they think it is easier to do the course than deal with Richard if they don’t!"

A typical week for Richard consists of the following; club or West Munster Youth committee meetings, supervising training sessions, travel arrangements for away games and organising pitches, referees’ and changing rooms for home fixtures. Saturday’s rugby starts at the club at 9am and could finish as late as 6pm, and then there are match reports to be prepared for the local media. On Sunday if there are no youth fixtures then the 1st or 2nd XV have to be supported.

There have been many highlights for Richard in his time as Youth Officer but Tralee winning the inaugural Munster Rugby Youth Section of the Year Award in 2006-07 was very special.

He feels Tralee/Kerry is currently just bubbling under the rugby radar and he expects that in the very near future there will be more players from the area featuring for Munster and Irish Teams. With people like Richard driving youth development in the area we certainly wouldn’t disagree.

DAVID CONDON

David’s rugby experience started at Rockwell College and after playing with both Killarney and Listowel clubs during the early years of his banking career, he was then transferred to Tralee and was immediately welcomed into the club in Killeen. Never a slow starter he was voted onto the Committee in his very first year (1974).

David played for all the Tralee RFC adult teams including captaining the 2nd XV for a season. He finally hung up his boots in the mid-1990s after a few memorable outings for the "Golden Oldies".

While serving on the committee, he held the role of Hon. Treasurer for many years and during that time worked as clubhouse and bar manager, overseeing the finances and overseeing the weekly discos.

As treasurer he was privileged to oversee the Club’s transition from Killeen to their present home in O’Dowd Park in 1981 and over the years ran several fundraising draws, most notably the major 6-month draw in the mid-1980s which saw 6 cars raffled over a six-month period grossing £120,000 in badly-needed funds.

Following the transition to O’Dowd Park, and the many fundraising draws in the 1980s, Tralee RFC made David an honorary life vice-president and he is also now an acting Trustee, replacing the late Jack Savage in that role.

David has been involved in many projects and initiatives in his time at the club including the novel idea of building a golf driving-range across the playing pitches in September 1991. The range ran successfully for more than ten years bringing extra revenue to the club coffers. He also helped organise many club trips abroad including most recently the players’ trip to Biarritz to coincide with the last World Cup.

Unfortunately in the late 1990s, due to ill health, David had to give up his day job and step back from the club activities for some time. However because the club had been such a major part of his life it was impossible for him to stay away for too long. In his own words David claims that "Tralee Rugby Club has been my safety net down through the years and for that I am eternally grateful!"

In recent years David has kept busy by involving himself in match ticket distribution, the inception of the club website, developing the new club crest, sponsorship negotiations and the creation of an e-mail database, not to mention his role as unofficial club photographer.

Both David and Richard see this award as recognition of the strides Tralee Rugby Club has made over the years thanks to the voluntary effort of so many people and they stress that in accepting the award they do so on behalf of the many volunteers who have made Tralee RFC what it is today. Munster Rugby is proud to acknowledge Richard and David as outstanding servants to rugby.

The Right Price Tiles Volunteer Recognition Programme was launched to give clubs and schools the opportunity to acknowledge the significant contribution made by individuals and groups who have developed, promoted and/or advanced the sport of Rugby in the local community and in the province. Through the Volunteer Recognition Programme, Munster Rugby would like to acknowledge and reward these individuals who devote countless hours’ week in week out, year after year to provide a safe and enjoyable environment at the grassroots of the game.

The Volunteer Recognition programme is open to any person or group of people currently associated with domestic rugby in Munster, in a non-paid capacity at a club, school, college, university or associated affiliate of Munster Branch IRFU.

PRIZES:
Successful nominees who meet the set criteria will be recognised for their efforts by receiving a generous prize package which includes Munster match tickets, our Volunteer Award Trophy and a voucher for the Munster Rugby store.
For full details of eligibility and terms and conditions, please refer to www.munsterrugby.ie or email damonurlich@munsterrugby.ie

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