The Rugby Football Union (RFU) today launched its Posts in the Parks scheme at Inwood Park, Hounslow to mark two years to go to the start of Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC2015).
Single rugby posts are being installed in parks in the 10 RWC2015 English host cities as visible symbols of the RFU’s commitment to broadening the appeal of rugby and to reaching out to new audiences and new areas. From Newcastle to Exeter and from Birmingham to London, the specially designed posts will raise people’s awareness of rugby, to get the nation behind the tournament and help them feel a real connection to the sport in the build-up to RWC2015.
Chief Executive Ian Ritchie was joined at the launch by England Rugby 2015 CEO Debbie Jevans and former England player and ER 2015 Ambassador Lawrence Dallaglio, together with local school children from Cranford Community College, Hounslow. Cranford Community College is one of the latest group of 100 schools to join the RFU’s All Schools programme.
Launched last year, All Schools is a key part of the RFU’s Legacy plans, aiming to create a step-change in the number of secondary schools playing rugby union by supporting schools new to rugby over a three year period. It forms one of the RFU’s seven legacy strands of the Rugby World Cup 2015 to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game.
From building capacity by getting more school children playing rugby to improving facilities in rugby clubs, to increasing the quantity and quality of coaches, or inspiring participation by encouraging players to return to the game, the RFU’s Lead up and Legacy plans are on track and making good progress.
Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive said: “When we launched our legacy vision last year, we talked about inspiring people and bringing rugby to more people across the country. Today marks an important step on that journey to get people thinking about the game and to make the most of the opportunities that hosting the Rugby World Cup brings.
“Over the past year we have put in place realistic plans and additional investment to ensure that we build a lasting legacy for the game. We want more people playing, coaching, refereeing and volunteering, watching and talking about rugby - and we are on our way to delivering that vision.”
Lawrence Dallaglio, who was a key member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning side and is an ambassador for England 2015 added: “Two years out from the tournament and we are already seeing the impact of Rugby World Cup 2015 being hosted in England. ‘Posts in the Parks’ is a great concept – to see 100 rugby posts going up in parks all across the country is a real opportunity to raise interest and awareness of the game. For the RFU to have a legacy programme in place now means that more people can have access to rugby – not only in the lead-up and during the tournament, but long afterwards.”