March Bears’ secretary bags top sports volunteer award for tireless service to rugby club

MARCH Bears Rugby Club’s secretary Clairice Pepper has been recognised as one of the most tireless sports volunteers in the region.

Pepper won the Eastern Counties Presidents Volunteer Award for her endless contributions to the club. She has volunteered in a host of different capacities, providing first aid cover at all games, taking minutes at meetings and organising functions.

Pepper said: “I was so shocked because I didn’t realise I had been nominated.

“It was a really great evening but it was a bit surreal. Loads of people were congratulating me who I’d never seen but had only ever spoken to on the phone.

“The award was a bonus and it does make you feel appreciated but I do it for the love of the club. The players respect what I do and it’s nice because it takes away the pressure from them and just allows them to play.

“They show their appreciation by being 100 per cent committed on the field.”

March Bears enjoyed a remarkable second half of the season - with coaches Richard Horne and Carl Moore leading them to a series of crushing wins.

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Pepper was nominated for the prestigious award by March Bears President Barry Feetham, who said the mum-of-two’s dedication had “earned the respect of March Bears’ committee, players and members alike”.

Feetham said: “Without her dedication and enthusiasm over the last seven years we as a club would have had to dig deep to fill a very large void.

“If there is any work to be done Clairice is not frightened to roll up her sleeves, get stuck in and get her hands dirty.

“Rugby has predominantly been a male-dominated sport from top to bottom, so it is great to see a female that wants to break the mould and take such an active role within a rugby club.”

Pepper added: “I feel that this award is for everyone at the club. I’m just one part of a team who continue to work very hard to give March a rugby side.”