Daniel Kriel of the Seattle Seawolves Named Recipient of 2023 S. Marcus Calloway Community Impact Award Presented by Fastenal

(CHICAGO) July 8, 2023 – Major League Rugby (MLR) today announced Daniel Kriel of the Seattle Seawolves as the recipient of the S. Marcus Calloway Community Impact Award presented by Fastenal. At halftime of the MLR Championship Final today in Chicago, Kriel was presented with a commemorative trophy and a $10,000 donation to “Happy Bundles,” a nonprofit originally founded in South Africa and brought to the U.S. by Kriel and his wife Candice,with the mission of bringing a smile to children battling cancer.

Named after the late S. Marcus Calloway, the founder of Rugby ATL and prominent rugby and MLR advocate who passed away in December of 2021, the award is given to the player who shows passion, excellence, and integrity on and off the field, inspires others to action, shows strength in character, aids those less fortunate, and embraces the core values of rugby, while displaying solidarity, discipline, and respect.

“Daniel Kriel exemplifies the qualities we seek in honoring the late S. Marcus Calloway, and we are proud to award Daniel with this esteemed recognition” said MLR CEO Nic Benson. “Daniel’s commitment to his community, and his natural impulse to inspire others on and off the field is a true testament to his character and a representation of the values we aspire to in our growing league.”

Born to a strong rugby family in Cape Town, South Africa, Kriel founded his nonprofit, Happy Bundles, after his wife Candice was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in 2020. Through their hardship as a family, they decided to create awareness around childhood cancer. After moving to Seattle with their two children, the Kriel’s registered and launched Happy Bundles in America.

“During my wife’s treatment and fight against cancer, I could not believe how many young children were receiving chemotherapy and radiation at such young ages,” said Daniel Kriel of the Seattle Seawolves. “There is no greater joy than putting a smile on their faces and seeing them, their family, and friends light up with true joy and excitement when they receive their gifts,”

From leading coaching events with the local Seattle Boys and Girls Club to dedicating time to other community outreach programs offered by the Seawolves, Kriel is always known to be the first to volunteer for events in the community. Outside of his own efforts, Kriel is regarded as a teammate who brings the team closer, always striving to get others involved in projects to better those less fortunate around him. At Happy Bundles’ end-of-the-season event, Kriel rallied over 50 participants and raised over $22,000 for children fighting cancer.

Each Major League Rugby team nominated one player for the award, where a committee made up of MLR CEO Nic Benson, Deputy Commissioner Bill Goren, a Fastenal representative, and Marcus’ widow Clea Calloway, selected Kriel from the 12 nominees.


About S. Marcus Calloway:

The award is named for the late S. Marcus Calloway, former chairman and majority owner of Rugby ATL. Calloway was an attorney who practiced real estate law for nearly 50 years, but his true love was Rugby. He was dedicated to expanding the footprint of Rugby in Atlanta and the greater southeast area of the United States. In 2017, Calloway felt Atlanta needed a world-class Rugby team. Calloway founded Rugby ATL and under his ownership, Rugby ATL won the Eastern Conference Championship in 2021. Calloway passed away in December 2021.

About Major League Rugby:

Major League Rugby is a professional sports league in its sixth season that represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018 to 12 teams in 2023, featuring 11 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on Fox Sports, among other national and local market platforms. Select matches are available to stream live in North America on The Rugby Network, and all matches are available on The Rugby Network for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more  information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby.

About Happy Bundles:

Happy Bundles is an international nonprofit organization that raises funds to bring a life-changing moment of joy by donating gifts to children with cancer. Happy Bundles was founded in South Africa, then brought to the U.S. by Dan and Candice Kriel after Candice was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2020. The Kriels’ pulled through the experience with the support of their family and friends, and they wanted to give back. The organization is based around the family’s confidence that there is no greater moment than seeing a child, their family, and friends light up with joy and excitement when they receive their “Happy Bundle” gift. For information and to support the incredible cause, visit www.happybundles.co.za.

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