England Rugby 2015 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) today launched ‘Festival of Rugby 2015’, a new programme enabling events across the UK to celebrate rugby’s biggest year.
The Festival of Rugby provides clubs, schools, community groups, organisers of sporting events and the wider nation with the opportunity to take part in the celebration of rugby in 2015 and create a true festival feel across the UK. The Festival of Rugby is open to any event hosted between June 10 and October 31 2015 that includes a rugby theme or element; this can be as simple as a link to a rugby team, song, through catering, visuals or cultural elements of the game.
Source: World Rugby
From bake sales to national sporting events, everyone across the country is invited to join in by registering their existing event or creating an event to be part of the programme. The new dedicated website will also allow people to locate and attend events in their area with a postcode search feature launching later this year.
All events registered as part of the Festival of Rugby 2015 will have access to the Festival of Rugby brand enabling them to produce items including bunting, t-shirts and promotional tools to use at their events. Each event will also have access to their own event page at www.festivalofrugby2015.com, helping to increase awareness and reach of their event.
England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive, Debbie Jevans, said, “The Festival of Rugby 2015 aims to create a true festival feeling across the UK by offering the opportunity for national, local, community and individual events to be part of rugby’s biggest year. Events hosted across the UK between June 10 – October 31 2015 can be part of the Festival of Rugby, simply by registering . It’s completely free and gives organisers access to promotional support and the Festival of Rugby brand and creates opportunities for people across the country to get involved and locate local events in their area and join in.”
RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger said: “We are delighted to be supporting and promoting the Festival of Rugby 2015 and look forward to engaging thousands of people across the country in rugby related activities. Whether it’s a playing opportunity for youngsters at a local community centre, a rugby themed music festival at a school or an exhibition of rugby artwork, the Festival of Rugby will demonstrate what a truly inclusive sport Rugby Union is and will showcase the values of our sport. We’re looking forward to seeing a wide range of projects in the Festival, with the rugby family reaching out to more communities to welcome many more potential players, spectators and followers to our great game.”
World Rugby Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, added: “We are really excited about this initiative that will create a truly nationwide festival of rugby during 2015. Sport is all about inclusivity, teamwork and having fun and I am sure that through a diverse range of events, the Festival of Rugby will create a fantastic feel-good atmosphere across the UK and inspire new audiences to engage and feel a part of what will be a very special and record-breaking year of rugby.”
A number of events have already registered their interest in the Festival of Rugby 2015, including the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge at the Copper Box Arena at the Olympic Park, the massed performance of ‘The Armed Man’ run by the Voices for Hospices Choir in Kempton Park, and Wallingford RFC ‘Rugfest 2015’. These highlight the broad range and genre of events that will feature in the programme, in line with the Festival’s aim to spread the celebration of rugby far and wide in 2015.
Event organisers can register their interest and find out more from today here. Next month event organisers will be able to apply to be part of the Festival of Rugby through the online application system.
Click here to hear from England legends Maggie Alphonsi and Jason Leonard who helped launch the Festival of Rugby 2015 at Teddington RFC.