The months are flying by at a rate of knots and a clear indicator of this was the presentation of this seasons third Tinys Choice Award by the Blues principal sponsor bmibaby.
This award will be remembered for many reasons but none more than the fact that winner, Mr Howard Thomas, has been responsible for rugby development for over 20 years in South Powys, one of the latest areas to be added to the newly expanded Blues region.
Howards nomination for the award came in the form of a glowing reference from Blues Development Officer Chris Ower who has been looking after rugby development in the South Powys section of the Blues region and instantly recognised the importance of the work that Howard has contributed to developing rugby in the area.
Howard, who is Head Teacher of Penrhos Primary School, Ystradgynlais and Trecastle C.P School near Brecon, Powys, has for over 20 years has been the Chairman of South Powys Schools U11's Rugby Association and has been the number one reason for the existence of representative opportunities for children of Primary School age in South Powys.
Of Howards work, Chris commented, During his dedicated 20 year reign Howard has been Chairman, Coach, Physiotherapist, Touch Judge, bus driver and referee, and on many occasions has been all of the listed during one particular game!!
On a more serious note, without Howard Thomas kids in South Powys Primary Schools would not have the opportunity to develop their rugby experiences and through his unbelievable dedication and love of the game, many kids who have come through the South Powys Schools U11's set up and having gone on to enjoy rugby for many years, some have even become Junior and Senior Welsh Internationals.
Howard for those who know him well, is a hugely enthusiastic man and his enjoyment of the game rebounds onto the kids who come through the South Powys U11's Schools system, he works tirelessly with very limited staffing assistance but still manages to provide great opportunities for the local kids. The most amazing thing is that Howards own modesty requests no personal gains or thanks for all his efforts.
Chris nomination of Howard for the tinys Choice Award fitted perfectly the requisite of recipients to have given an Outstanding contribution to or participation in grass roots rugby in the Blues region.
The presentation of the award was made during the half time interval at the Blues v Stade Francais by bmibaby Managing Director, Tony Davies, who was accompanied by Commercial Director, Dave Bryon, Marketing Director, David Hodge and Cardiff Blues players Jamie Robinson and Ryan Powell.