Northampton Saints flanker Jamie Gibson has today been named the overall winner of the RPA Gain Line Award of the 2018/19 season.
The award was created to celebrate the proactivity and off-field achievements of RPA members, and early this season Gibson was named as one of three RPA Personal Development Award winners.
“I was thrilled to have won the first award, but I’m blown away to have been selected as the overall winner for 2019."Jamie Gibson
The powerful forward, who has made more than 100 appearances for the East Midlands club since moving from Leicester Tigers in 2015/16, has been rewarded for his success off the pitch – launching an online cooking blog and co-founding two separate businesses alongside his wife, Lizzie.
Gibson, a passionate cook, has made the most of his love for food by launching his very own cooking blog, 'Butter Wouldn't Melt'.
The blog provides readers with a range of indoor and outdoor recipes, using easily accessible ingredients, and providing a unique insight into Jamie's passion for all things food. The website also features an online shop, where Jamie has proactively approached local retailers and suppliers to advertise their products on the site.
Gibson said: “I was thrilled to have won the first award, but I’m blown away to have been selected as the overall winner for 2019.
“Any recognition is hugely appreciated, but when I look around and see so many other players getting stuck in with their own talents and interests off the pitch, it’s a huge compliment to have been chosen as the winner.
“I am a very lucky man to have the opportunity to work every day alongside the woman I love on businesses we’re both extremely passionate about.”
The 28-year-old has also worked hard to establish a successful business with his wife, called 'Pannacotta'. The online shop sells handcrafted baby items, such as wooden toys and hand embroidered blankets. Jamie has harnessed his strong interest in photography to capture all images found on the site, leading to numerous local businesses approaching him to take similar shots for their use.
Jamie has continued his commitment to developing off the pitch and enhancing his interests by co-founding a second business with his wife, a bespoke design, branding, photography and fine art company, called Elza James. Still in the early stages of operation, Jamie and Lizzie make the most of their spare time to work with their clients to establish and promote a brand identity, by crafting unique design and imagery that reflects the desired culture and ethos.
The award highlights a player’s off-field personal development success and is judged by a panel consisting of RPA Rugby Director, Richard Bryan, RPA Non-Executive Director, Joe Ryan, and RPA Alumni Representatives, Chris Bentley and Rob Vickerman.
The RPA Personal Development Programme (jointly funded by the RPA, RFU and Premiership Rugby) is a central pillar of the RPA and provides its members with essential off-field education, personal development, career transition opportunities and welfare support.