England Women’s World Cup 10,000 Mile Trophy Tour to help inspire 10,000 new females into the game.
England Rugby has today launched a country wide tour of the Women’s World Cup trophy with a send off from Twickenham the Home of Rugby.
After 16 years residing on the other side of the world in New Zealand, England Women carried the World Cup home this August, giving female rugby an unrivalled opportunity to grow the game. The present figures show female playing numbers in England at 18,000, with the new target to increase that by a further 10,000 by 2017. Funding was received from Sport England two years ago, specifically with female players as the target audience. Using the World Cup winners as inspirational role models, to spread the word is a prominent part of the Rugby Football Union’s strategy to grow the game.
The trophy leaves Twickenham to embark on a 10,000 mile journey around England, a mile for every new player the RFU are looking to enlist as part of the new strategy, launched at the Houses of Parliament on the 3rd September. The tour will finish May 2015 after having visited hundreds of clubs, schools, colleges and universities. With RWC 2015 fast approaching, it is hoped that one trophy can inspire the arrival of another for England Rugby.
Rugby World Cup winner Katy McLean, said: “We were truly “carried home” by the support of the fans and we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get their hands on the Trophy to share in our success. We also want to use the opportunity to inspire girls in schools, colleges, universities and wider communities, and being able to take the trophy on tour will be a great opportunity to do that.”
After the initial phase of the tour in September and early October, the RFU will be working with Constituent Bodies and their stakeholders, to use the trophy across England to spread the word of women’s rugby and take the game to a wider playing audience.
Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director for the RFU said “The Women’s World Cup win and this countrywide tour will hopefully inspire lots more women and girls to give rugby a go. Rugby is a game that has athleticism, strength and toughness and our research tells us that those aren’t things women are afraid of. They’re things they’re proud of, so we have a real asset and we plan on using it to inspire more females to join us.”
“Coming on the eve of the launch of the public tickets sale for Rugby World Cup 2015, this is another great opportunity to showcase Rugby across the country. Our Women and Under 20s have already brought home the silverware, and we want the country to get behind our men as they aim for success in the Rugby World Cup next year.”
Throughout the Women’s World Cup tournament @EnglandRugby wanted to encourage its fans to be the 16th woman on the team. By successfully driving fan engagement, England Rugby received thousands of messages of support for the team via #CarryThemHome (adapted from the fans anthem, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”). Throughout the campaign tweets were received by celebrities, fellow sports stars and from both new and existing fans. During the trophy tour and the upcoming rugby season, England Rugby are once again calling on the nation and those involved in the game at local level to tweet @EnglandRugby with their words and pictures using #CarryThemHome to continue the legacy and the positive picture emerging of female rugby in England. In the months to come England Rugby will unveil exciting plans to use these images to promote the sport.
Visit www.englandrugby.com/womenandgirls to find a local women’s club and discover more details on how to get involved in the nationwide tour.
Women’s Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour Schedule:
Twickenham Launch 11th September
London Youth Games Annual Dinner 11th September
Worcester Warriors 13th September
London Wasps 14th September
Darlington MP Sharks 20th September
Newcastle 2015 Legacy Event 18th September
London Stock Exchange 22nd September
Surrey CB Festival 24th Sept (At Old Emmanuel)
Saracens Community Event 25th September
Saracens 27th September
Manchester Community Event 28th September
Leeds Varsity 1st October
Northumberland CB Festival 5th October – Whitley Bay
North Girls Festival 12th October – Vale of Lune
East and East Mids – October
West Mids and Lancashire – November
South West – December and January
South East and London – February
North East and Yorkshire – March