Steven Tomasin has been awarded the Unsung Hero Award as part of honouring the late great American player Jon Prusmack.
Prusmack passed away in December 2018, and along with being a pioneer of the sport in the United States, he was the owner of United World Sports and properties that include the annual HSBC USA Sevens in Las Vegas, Rhino Rugby USA, and Rugby Today.
Prusmack was also recognised for his importance to the development of the sport, as he was inducted into the U.S Rugby Hall of Fame.
The 77-year-old dedicated his life to the sport and encouraging the USA to get behind the game. Something that has undoubtedly happened with the Eagles Sevens now back to back winners of the Las Vegas Sevens championship, and the team currently ranked number one in the world.
Tomasin was the first recipient of the award because of qualities that are synonymous of Puswick’s legacy; including inspiration, leadership, humility, and perseverance. The title will be awarded bi-annually and delivered on every home stop of the HSBC World Series, on both the men’s and women’s sides.
The sport of #rugby in the US lost 1 of its biggest backers w passing of Jon Prusmack Friday; an ageless entrepreneur who let his vision, passion & $$ work together he always had “The Wonder of What’s next” & will be missed. #cancersucks #espn #sportsbiz https://t.co/XCbFajqFOg pic.twitter.com/BZ4le6xvYE
— Joe Favorito (@joefav) December 23, 2018
Speaking of Tomasin’s recognition, the USA’s head coach Mike Friday told the official USA sevens website: “Stephen fully deserves and epitomises the spirit of this away. This entire weekend he has been selfless and maintained a work rate on both sides of the ball that has set an example for the rest of the boys. Just as Jon was, Stephen has been a man who gets the job done no matter the cost so he and his teammates can have the best chance to succeed.”
Barbara O’Brien is a member of the USA Rugby board, and she acknowledges the importance of recognising Prusmack. Speaking to the official USA Rugby website, she said: “The Board of USA Rugby is honoured to create the Unsung Hero Award in honour of Jon Prusmack. He was a generous supporter of growth in American rugby, and both understood and embodied the values of the sport in his relentless pursuit of personal, professional and rugby-focused goals.
“This award will carry on his legacy with athletes who are on the same quest to grow American rugby.”
The USA Rugby Unsung Hero award will acknowledge a women’s player next and will be handed out following next season’s home competition in Glendale, California.
Article written by Alex Dudley
Main photo: Steven Tomasin receives his Unsung Hero award at the USA Sevens. Credit: USA Rugby