The WRU allows Forces charities to collect and fundraise during key international matches, among many other initiatives carried out in recent years as a show of support. These include the Welsh team sending video messages of support to Serving personnel in Afghanistan during the recent RBS 6 Nations campaign, inviting injured veterans and Serving soldiers as special guests of the WRU to Wales international matches and hosting a memorial service and homecoming for the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh at the Millennium Stadium.
"We at the WRU are honoured to receive this award," said WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis. "We are always looking for ways in which we can show our appreciation for our Armed Forces and by allowing Forces charities to collect during matches amongst many other activities; we are delighted to be supporting the wider Armed Forces community."
Warrant Officer, Mal Kelleher-Griffiths from The Royal Welsh commented, "This award is well-deserved as the Welsh Rugby Union has always shown a great amount of respect and support not only to the local Armed Forces community, but also to the entire British Armed Forces family. They allow charities to collect and fundraise during important matches and this makes such a difference to Serving and ex-Service personnel."
The Friends of the Forces awards launched in February with the backing of Prince Harry, a Lieutenant with the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals), to recognise people who contribute to the well-being or appreciation of the British Armed Forces.
Claire Williams, The Royal British Legion's County Manager said, "The WRU has put in an exceptional effort to offer help and support to the Armed Forces family and we are extremely pleased to be recognising its dedication through this award. We received many excellent entries from across Wales, however the judges were incredibly impressed by the outstanding work it has been doing. On behalf of the British Armed Forces, The Royal British Legion would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at the WRU."
Winners have been chosen in categories recognising individual, youth, community, and corporate contributions across eight regions covering England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Welsh Rugby Union has also been named on the national shortlist, the winners of which will be announced at a gala ceremony in London in July, hosted by BBC military historian Dan Snow.
The other winners in Wales were:
Individual Stanley Power. A 90-year old volunteer case worker who has worked with a Forces charity for over 30 years
Youth Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force. The cadets collected money across the whole of North Wales and one platoon tends to soldiers' graves in their local cemetery
Community Group Gurnos Nursery School. Toddlers from the nursery walked a sponsored mile and raised over £1,000 for a Forces charity