Spar announces 2019 People’s Podium winners

Spar has announced grand prize winner and runners up of its hugely successful People’s Podium campaign, designed to support community sport across the country.

Building on the popular success of its 2018 campaign, Spar’s People’s Podium invited people from across the nation to nominate their local sporting heroes who had a positive impact on their community, and be in with a chance to receive £10,000 to support their local sporting initiatives.

This year’s grand prize winner is Lawrence Howard, founder and rugby coach at Typhoons RUFC, Lancashire’s first all-inclusive rugby club. He was surprised at his local club on Friday 11 October by TV presenter Andi Peters and Spar staff who presented him with the award and a cheque for £10,000. It was a real celebration with the whole community coming together to celebrate what Lawrence has done for rugby in his local area.

Lawrence was nominated and eventually awarded the grand prize because of his dedication to the Typhoons RUFC and helping bring together a community through rugby.

Lawrence Howard, Typhoons RUFC, said: “It’s become obvious that inclusive clubs can be in every community and not limited to big cities. What we’ve seen tonight is a perfect example of how an inclusive rugby club can inspire people from all backgrounds to take up the game. It’s such an honour to even be nominated, just to know you’ve had an impact on someone’s life. This money will go towards helping us grow the club, providing funds for training equipment and travel to tournaments.”

Louise Hoste, Spar UK managing director, added her congratulations and said: “Well done to Lawrence and all of our runners up. They epitomise the individual we look to recognise with this award and they deserve to be celebrated. As a local convenience store business we are proud to be able to reward grassroots sporting heroes where our Spar stores are situated. We would also like to thank everyone for their nominations. This year’s campaign was an outstanding success; with a record number of contenders.”

Four additional regional runners up were chosen and surprised at their local clubs. Each received the sum of £2,000 and include:

·         Ross Broadbent – Blacon Boxing Club (Blacon, Chester)

·         Patricia Sutherland – Highland District Netball (Dingwall, Scotland)

·         Rana O’Brien – Rana’s School of Ballet (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

·         Maddy Doyle – Unity Through Basketball (Plymouth)

The People’s Podium campaign demonstrates Spar’s local community credentials and its commitment to always be there for local people and their communities.