The award topped a glittering 2006 for the Thornton Heath-based club on a local and national level. On-field, the First Team defended their TotalRL Rugby League Conference South Premiership with a win over Ipswich, before triumphing in the National RLC Premier Grand Final over East Lancashire Lions – the first National title held by a London rugby league team. The Second Grade held off Luton to win the London Amateur Rugby League title, and Youth Academy has won a place in the London Under 21s Grand Final.
Since the end of the season the Storm have gone on to win the Totalrl.com RLC Team of the Year whilst having Alan Emerson being nominated as Player of the Year and Coach Rob Powell nominated as Coach of the Year.
A major factor in the BBC London nomination was the schools and junior work undertaken by the club’s rugby league services, which includes the employment of two development officers to run a program with involvement in 4 South London boroughs, 30 schools and over 90 teams in the region – touching a total of over 2000 junior players annually. 15 players from Storm’s junior development system have gone on to the professional academies of Harlequins and Hull over the past three years.
Accepting the award on behalf of the club, chairman Paul Brown said, “I know a lot of people – inside and outside the club – will be proud of this kind of all-sport recognition for the club. There are a lot of fingerprints on this award, from the founders of the club, through to the players, coaches and volunteers at all levels over the past nine years. A lot of time and energy from a lot of people over a long time go into a year like 2006.”
“We’ve also been very fortunate over that time to receive support from the Rugby Football League, Streatham-Croydon RFU, local schools and PDM’s, and local and national government sports funding agencies, and also the professional clubs in London.”
Other winners at the BBC London Sports Awards included Arsene Wenger, Mike Catt, Mo Farah, Arsenal FC, Alan Curbishley and Joe Cole.