A TRIO of rugby stalwarts are now behind the wheel of their perfect Mitsubishi after their outstanding commitment to the game and their local clubs won them the vehicles for a year.

Adam Padgett, David Taylor and Jane Waterhouse were all victorious in the final of the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme, which, in partnership with England Rugby, celebrated the unsung heroes who underpin the game at grassroots level. From grounds people, committee members, and coaches to those who make the teas, the programme worked to recognise all those who keep clubs going with duties big and small.

So hard was it to choose between the 42 finalists who attended the grand final, which was held at Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby, that Mitsubishi vehicles were awarded to four overall winners rather than three as originally proposed. The fourth finalist to win a Mitsubishi for a year – Shaun De’Elliot – is in the midst of learning to drive and is set to pick up his keys when he passes his test.

The finalists travelled to Twickenham for the awards ceremony after each was selected as a Volunteer of the Year finalist during celebratory events that took place at Mitsubishi Motors dealerships and rugby clubs throughout England.

Adam Padgett, who volunteers at Colne & Nelson RUFC and takes on everything from being vice captain of the first team and coaching the club’s junior colts to helping out in the club’s kitchen and being its qualified first aider, opted for a Mitsubishi Outlander 4 diesel, which he collected from Browns Mitsubishi in Grimsargh.

The 27-year-old said: “I’m very pleased and surprised to have won, especially as there were so many deserving people not just in the final, but nominated at the regional events too. The Outlander looks fantastic and I’m really looking forward to driving it.”

Darren Ashworth, General Manager, Browns Mitsubishi, added: “It’s a privilege to present Adam with his Outlander. What he does for his club is amazing and we’re delighted to help Mitsubishi Motors reward him for his commitment.”

Adam Padgett, of Colne & Nelson RUFC, is presented with his prize Mitsubishi Outlander by Darren Ashworth, General Manager of Browns Mitsubishi.

Adam Padgett, of Colne & Nelson RUFC, is presented with his prize Mitsubishi Outlander by Darren Ashworth, General Manager of Browns Mitsubishi.

Cannock RFC’s David Taylor has been chairman of the club for 18 years. As well as heading the club, he works behind the bar, cleans the changing rooms, washes the kit, locks up each night and serves bacon butties to the children who play on Sunday mornings! David chose a top-of-the-range Mitsubishi ASX 5 as his prize and took delivery of it from Brindley Mitsubishi in Cannock.

On his win, David said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It was a pleasant surprise to just be nominated, let alone win! I love the club and I think it’s great that Mitsubishi Motors has held a contest like this, to celebrate the small guys in the game. To have the ASX for a year is a fantastic prize.”

Cannock RFC's David Taylor and his wife, Marlene, collect the keys to his Mitsubishi ASX from Tom Pearse, Sales Executive at Brindley Mitsubishi.

Cannock RFC’s David Taylor and his wife, Marlene, collect the keys to his Mitsubishi ASX from Tom Pearse, Sales Executive at Brindley Mitsubishi.

Tom Pearse, Sales Executive, Brindley Mitsubishi, on handing David his keys, said: “David’s absolutely committed to Cannock RFC. We’re thrilled that one of our local rugby volunteers has won and wish him many enjoyable miles in the ASX.”

After impressing the contest’s judges with her invaluable work at Old Coventrians RFC for 25 years, Jane Waterhouse was awarded her choice of Mitsubishi for a year – opting for a striking orient red Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Jane collected her new Mitsubishi from Ashby & Mann Mitsubishi, Hinckley. She was joined by three other generations of her family – Mum Sylvia, who also volunteers for the club, son Philip and her granddaughter, Ava.

Jane’s connection with Old Coventrians RFC began when she watched her father play for the club and she’s always had a rugby background. When her son started to play for the side, she took on a volunteer role and over the years has been club chair, fixtures secretary, mini and junior chair and also continues to be the safeguarding officer for Warwickshire rugby.

Being presented with her new Mitsubishi, Jane said: “I can’t believe it, I’m quite overwhelmed by it all! I was humbled by the other volunteers at the final and I’m so proud of the achievement. Volunteering gives me such enjoyment and it’s lovely to have the recognition from Mitsubishi Motors. The car is fantastic and I absolutely love the colour!”

Winning volunteer Jane Waterhouse, who has helped at Old Coventrians RFC for over 25 years, is handed the keys to Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV by Steve Whyatt, General Manager at Ashby and Mann Mitsubishi.

Jane Waterhouse, who volunteers at Old Coventrians RFC, collects her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV from Steve Whyatt, General Manager at Ashby and Mann Mitsubishi.

Steve Whyatt, General Manager, Ashby & Mann, showed Jane around her new Mitsubishi. He said: “Jane’s a thoroughly deserving winner and she’s become one of the most respected people in rugby at a grassroots level. We’re absolutely delighted to present her with her prize.”

For more information on the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme visit englandrugby.com/mitsubishivolunteers.