PLYMSTOCK Albion Oaks president Neil Gill believes Nigel Higginson more than deserves his nomination for Club Volunteer of the Year at the National Rugby Awards.
Gill says he cannot praise Higginson’s work for the Horhsam Fields-based club enough and feels he would be a worthy winner.
The awards ceremony will take place at Twickenham on September 1.
“Nigel’s nomination is a culmination of about 30 years work in the community really,” said Gill.
“He was a level two referee and was instrument in Plymstock Rugby Club, who I think started in 1987. He worked through there and when the two clubs – OPOs and Plymstock – merged in 2007, Nigel has been the chairman ever since.
“He has been massively involved in rugby all his life.
“It does take over your life really because every day you are doing something for the club.
“I don’t think we (Plymstock Albion Oaks) would even be here without Nigel, to be honest. He has been the driving force behind the club, with his contacts with the RFU and his energy and drive to organise things.
“This year we have got floodlighting going up and pitch drainage going in. We have got £150,000 worth of investment this year.
“You can’t praise him enough for the work he does.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t win it (the award), to be honest. It is 30 years of effort really and it is nice for him to be recognised.”
Since Old Public Oaks merged with Plymstock in 2007, the new club has gone from strength-to-strength.
“We have got 17 teams now,” said Gill. “I think we are the biggest club in Plymouth and one of the biggest in Devon. There aren’t many clubs that have got ladies, girls, vets, seniors and a full range of junior and youth teams.
“The colts and the youth teams are the lifeblood of the club really. In five or 10 years’ time hopefully they will be in the first team – that the objective.”