We are resuming these regular updates as activities begin to gather momentum as we draw ever nearer to RWC 2015. Your feedback would be appreciated to ensure that we provide useful information on a regular basis.
The next 12 months represent an immensely important period for England 2015, and with the foundations now firmly in place, the build-up moves from planning to delivery. Over 2m tickets will go on sale, seven more teams will qualify, the volunteer campaign will be launched and the international trophy tour will take place. Around the one year to go milestone tickets will go on sale to the general public, before any remaining tickets are offered on a first-come first-served basis from November.
The nationwide campaign to find 6,000 volunteers will launch on February 12, with over 75% of volunteers to be recruited from rugby clubs in England. The programme will also aim to bring new people into the game through the remaining volunteer places.
Working in partnership with representatives of the already qualified unions and bases from around the country, the participating teams will confirm their preferences for bases by mid-2014. The approved bases, which range from sports clubs to universities, consist of indoor and outdoor training facilities, hotel, gym and pool, and will play host to the 20 competing teams. Up to 50 bases will be used at RWC 2015, and we are committed to finding the best possible training environments for the world’s best teams.
To mark 500 days to go until the start of RWC 2015, details on the International Webb Ellis Cup tour will be announced, during which it will travel to many of the already qualified nations as well as to rugby’s emerging nations, before returning to England to start the domestic trophy tour on the 100 days to go milestone.
Building Capacity – Facilities
The Lead Up & Legacy Facilities enhancement programme is continuing to be well received and in the 2nd round there are 74 Legacy Centre projects in development for delivery in summer 2014, with forecast investment of £4.6m. The 3rd round will include 220 club ‘Transforming Social Space’ projects across the country focusing on generating commercial revenues, interior design and project management, with a forecast investment of £2.2m.
Investing in People – supporting coaches, referees and volunteers
Plans to invest further in coach and match official training are paying off, with lead up and legacy funding being used to place a blanket subsidy on all coach and match official courses in the run up to RWC 2015. In the period 1 Jul 13 – 31 Dec 13 there were 17,044 attendances on coach & referee courses, compared with 14,644 for the same period the year before.
The Young Rugby Ambassadors (YRA) programme got off to a flying start on 31st October 2013, with 10 conferences taking place simultaneously in RWC 2015 Host Cities around the country. The conferences were attended by 542 YRAs, aged between 15 and 20, and 249 adult Mentors; they were also supported by Rugby World Cup winner and England Rugby 2015 ambassador Will Greenwood. We are currently planning phase 2 of the programme, which will take place in April/May 2014 with a further phase later in the year.
More Schools – offering more young people the opportunity to play rugby
In November we announced our partnership with England 2015 and Youth Sport Trust (YST). It is a really exciting opportunity for us all to bring rugby and RWC 2015 to life in schools over the next couple of years. School Rugby Ambassadors will be launched formally in February. YST have extensive networks into schools and whilst our clubs and CBs are concentrating on ensuring a supply of rugby opportunities, the school network can hopefully prompt some demand. All the work is in the very early stages and as the detail develops, we will keep you informed.
Constituent Body innovation plans have been produced and collated, resources are being allocated and the projects are now starting to activate. Workshops have taken place with all the RFU’s area delivery teams to give them an insight into the wants and needs of the 16-24 age group. In addition, several pilot projects have been run in each area which have proved to be very successful in bringing back players to clubs. Two training products are currently being trialled, aimed at developing a workforce that can ensure that players are provided with playing opportunities based on their requirements and that they are supported when transitioning from junior to adult rugby and from the club to further or higher education.
Touch Rugby – making rugby appealing to more people
Touch rugby continues to go from strength to strength with 101 touch centres across our clubs and universities now part of the programme. So far just under 4500 players have signed up to O2 Touch across the country and as we increase our network of Touch centres we look forward to welcoming even more players to our clubs in the coming months. Area 5 lead the way with their legacy Touch programmes focused on engaging local businesses in Touch activity. Some big businesses are already involved and strong links with their local Touch centres are being made.
In addition we also have 50 colleges running Touch for the first time with a further 27 to come on board next month. Having recruited O2 Touch ambassadors to promote the programme within the colleges and get people playing, over 800 players have also experienced O2 Touch since its launch in September.
Other Nations – building links with other European nations
The ‘Unity Project’ was launched officially on 21 January and is making good progress, with some scoping visits having taken place already. We are hoping to complete all outward scoping visits by July 2014 with inward study visits and development plans in place shortly after that.
Cultural Engagement – bringing rugby alive in communities
What Rugby Means to Me
The aim of this project is to involve local communities across the country in getting people talking about rugby and what a difference it makes to their lives. YRAs will gather the stories and produce photographs, videos and artworks explaining what rugby means to them and their clubs. The stories will be disseminated in engaging ways designed to boost participation in rugby and RWC 2015. The project itself will be launched in September this year; in January 2015 the national travelling exhibition is due to commence, with the exhibition taking place at the World Rugby Museum from August 2015. More information on this will follow.
Posts in the Parks
A total of 53 posts have now been installed in host cities. Gloucester, Leeds, Leicester and Milton Keynes are the first authorities to install all ten posts. Despite the recent bad weather and poor ground conditions, we are optimistic that the majority of posts will have been installed by the original deadline of 1st February. A list of the locations will be published when all posts have been installed.
For more information please contact your group’s nominated RFU Staff members or email@example.com