Touch down for rugby playing Whittlesey student who wins young citizen of the year award
- Credit: Archant
A 17 year old Whittlesey student has won a young citizen of the year award for his sporting skills representing England in touch rugby.
Sam Missin has been awarded by Whittlesey Town Council for the citizenship accolade.
Sam is a student of Sir Harry Smith Community College and will represent England in the Malaysian touch rugby World Cup in April.
The Mayor of Whittlesey, Councillor Julie Windle, made a surprise visit to present the cup and commemorative framed certificate, in front of his fellow 6th form students.
Sam began the sport when he was 13. Competing in the world cup will be the highlight of his sporting career so far after being part of the England Elite training programme.
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He puts his success down to training daily and the support of his family and the touch rugby communities of Cambridge and Peterborough.
A spokesman for England Touch Rugby said: “We are in a period of unrivalled growth in terms of the number of people playing touch in England – especially as people become increasingly aware of its benefits.
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“It is fun and social, whilst at the same time promoting an active lifestyle and improving fitness.
“Our current focus is very much on supporting this increased participation in over the forthcoming years, at all levels, but with a particular emphasis on youth participation and development thus providing a strong base for the future.
“We are extremely proud of all of our players, coaches, administrators and referees from our grass-roots participants to international representatives.”
England’s first World Cup match in Malaysia is on April 29 against Hong Kong followed by Italy. The final day is on May 4.
The first Touch World Cup took place in 1988 with 13 teams competing across four categories.
Since then the tournament has gone from strength-to-strength with more countries bringing their best players every four years.
The 2019 World Cup will be the biggest ever tournament, with 116 teams playing in 15 categories.
It is being held on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the first time that the touch World Cup will have been played in south-east Asia.
The young citizen of the year award recognises people living in Whittlesey, Coates, Eastrea, Turves or Pondersbridge, who have helped in the community, undertaken charity work, fund raised or achieved outstanding results in any discipline.