Thursday, 12th July 2018 @ 11:00
Harlequins' Seth Mensah and Jacques Seneschall won the PLAY Acheiver Award and Community Coach of the Year respectively at Wednesday's ceremony at the House of Commons.
Mensah was joint winner of the PLAY Acheiver Award alongside Kerry Simmons of Worcester Warriors.
The PLAY Achiever award recognises those who have overcome physical, cultural or social barriers to become involved in the game whilst embodying the spirit of the PLAY campaign.
Mensah, from Riddlesdown Collegiate in Purley, was nominated by Premiership Rugby for the award for the enthusiasm and commitment he has shown in working with the Harlequins Foundation on the Project Rugby initiative.
Having tragically lost both his mother and his father, and now being raised by his aunt, Seth was failing at school and was increasingly in danger of becoming involved in gang behaviour, but since joining the initiative in September he has managed to turn his life around.
Through working with the Harlequins Foundation, Seth had the opportunity to meet with a number of the 1st XV players which has encouraged him to set himself the goal of obtaining coaching badges to further bolster his knowledge of the game and deepen his understanding of rugby culture. He has expressed a keen interest in joining the London Club’s Community coaching team once he has left education so that he can give back to the sport that he now loves.
Harlequins Foundation Coach Jacques Seneschall won the Community Coach of the Year Award, supported by Ricoh, thanks to his efforts delivering both Harlequins Foundation and Premiership Rugby initiatives in London and the rest of the south east this season.
On winning the award, Seneschall said: "It was incredibly humbling to win this award, I am grateful to Harlequins and all the team who do so much brilliant work in the rugby community."
Seneschall's central focus was on delivering Project Rugby, a national scheme created by Premiership Rugby to grow the sport in school children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
During his time working on the project, Jacques had a significant impact with more than 600 young children. His efforts throughout the course of the year have resulted in 45 young people, who had never played the game, transitioning to Sunday club rugby.
In addition, Seneschall pioneered the ‘Project XV’, a team of 14 and 15-year-old boys from different non-rugby playing state schools or troubled backgrounds. In what was a highly challenging concept from the outset, Jacques regularly conducted training and learning sessions at Streatham- Croydon RFC, bringing the players on and instilling the values of the sport.
Both Mensah and Seneschall were presented their awards on the night by Harlequins' own Dave Ward. At the 2017/18 Premiership Rugby Awards, Mark Lambert was named Community Player of the Season.
Academy and Global Development Director Tony Diprose discusses the RFU's decision to award 15s contracts for England Women and the support Harlequins Ladies can provide.