AN Oxford Quins stalwart who has made a significant impact on the club’s growing women’s section has been shortlisted for a national prize.

Daisy Hopkins has been nominated in the Unsung Hero category at the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) Honda Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The 25-year-old is a player, team manager and fixtures secretary at Quins and has helped the club’s women’s section thrive since it launched in 2020.

Hopkins will now head to the national final at Twickenham in September, when volunteers from across the country are celebrated as part of Honda’s Volunteer Recognition Programme.

She was one of a handful of female players prior to the first XV’s maiden season in NC1 South West (East) in 2021/22.

But Hopkins has helped boost numbers through her role as fixtures secretary, encouraging recruitment and retention by getting to the club early to act as a friendly face for new members.

Speaking at the Oxfordshire RFU CB award ceremony, Hopkins said: “It feels like a nice testament to the amount of work that I’ve put in.

“I think that a lot of people on the outside don’t really realise how much work goes on behind the scenes by volunteers to make things happen.

“It was nice to shed a light on that and not just for me, I’ve put the work in but it’s a team effort and without the support of the team as well, then none of it would have happened.

“Particularly for the women’s rugby team, it’s a nice reminder of how far we’ve come in such a short space of time.”

Quins now boast two women’s teams and members nominated Hopkins for her hard work in boosting participation, with the RFU then selecting her for the shortlist.

The Unsung Hero category recognises volunteers who have had a major impact and demonstrated their commitment to the game over the past 12 months.

The club said: “Daisy has helped take our club from just a few female players ten months ago, to the point where we have two full women’s teams.

“Her enthusiasm is unrivalled and has been massive in terms of recruitment and retention of players. The club wouldn’t be where it is now without her.”

Three overall winners will be announced at the September ceremony for each of this year’s categories: Unsung Hero, Connecting the Community and Game for All, which recognises volunteers who have provided an inspirational and diverse offer to engage with their community.

The Honda Volunteer Recognition Programme brings the opportunity to thank those who have gone above and beyond this year for teams, clubs, referees’ societies and educational establishments.

Speaking about the awards, RFU President HH Jeff Blackett said: “There are so many outstanding volunteers who have really made a difference and the Honda Volunteer of the Year awards provides a great opportunity to say thank you.”

Volunteers are the backbone of grassroots rugby in England. If you would like to get involved and make a difference at your community club, visit: