Knowler recognised for service to Prebbleton

WINNER: Prebbleton Rugby Club president Jeromy Knowler with his volunteer of the year award from the Ellesmere awards night. Photo: ERU

Prebbleton Rugby Club president Jeromy Knowler believes his individual recognition comes from the years of hard work put in by people behind the scenes.

Mr Knowler was named volunteer of the year at the Ellesmere Rugby Sub Union awards night.

He said the award was a massive honour and recognition of how far the club has come thanks to a number of people over the past five years.

“I originally wasn’t going to go but my wife said that I should and as they read out the award, I sat there and realised it had been a bit of set up,” he said.

“I was very humbled to receive it.”

He has been part of the club’s backroom since 2003 after moving to Prebbleton.

“I only had half a season playing low-level senior rugby for them in 1999,” he said

In 2004, he started coaching at the junior level. By 2007, he was the junior club captain and eventually made his way to vice-president before taking over the top job at the 2014 annual general meeting.

“We’ve always had strong junior numbers but there were tough times at the senior level,” he said. “Four or five years ago, we were seriously considering whether we could continue to have a division one team.

“Fortunately we had guys who stepped up and prevented that from happening, and slowly but surely, we were able to create some depth. And this past season making the playoffs has shown we were on the right track.”

Mr Knowler said the senior rugby culture was something
the entire club had tried to improve.

“We’ll cook them a meal each week and sit down and have a chat with them,” he said,

“It’s been great to be able to sit with our players and find out who they are on a more personal level.”

Mr Knowler said he wants to ensure the club remains in good stead ahead of its centenary which will be held over Easter weekend next year.