RWC 2015 volunteer programme launches

(ER 2015) Wednesday 12 February 2014
 
RWC 2015 volunteer programme launches
Debbie Jevans and Jonny Wilkinson with volunteers at the launch of 'The Pack' at Grasshoppers RFC

The England Rugby 2015 Organising Committee has today launched ‘The Pack’ – the volunteer programme for RWC 2015.

‘The Pack’ will be made up of 6,000 volunteers who will be the faces of the tournament, helping to deliver RWC 2015 across England and in Cardiff. In line with the vision for RWC 2015, ‘The Pack’ will have rugby at heart - recruiting 75 per cent of the volunteers from rugby clubs in England and Wales.

In addition, ‘The Pack’ will bring 1,500 potential new volunteers into rugby through a national campaign, with the aim of retaining them beyond 2015 as part the tournament’s legacy.

Volunteers will play a key role in the delivery of the six-week tournament with a range of roles, including transport, meet and greet, accreditation and way-finding, and will all vary in duration.

Recruitment will begin on 17 March through an online application process. Over 2,000 Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) clubs will nominate between one and two of their members to join ‘The Pack’, and take part in selection events (‘Try Outs’) across England and in Cardiff throughout 2014.

Recognising the work of volunteers

Members of the general public can register their interest in joining ‘The Pack’ from today in the volunteers section of www.rugbyworldcup.com and details will be sent directly to all those signed up to The Front Row – the official newsletter for RWC 2015. The application process will be open for one month between 17 March and 17 Apri, followed by ‘Try Outs’ from June to December. Successful members of ‘The Pack’ will be confirmed in early 2015.

England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive Debbie Jevans said: “’The Pack’ will play a big role in the delivery of RWC 2015, welcoming the world to England, Cardiff, and to the Game of Rugby. True to our vision, Rugby is at the heart of our volunteer programme and we will recruit 75 per cent of the 6,000 members of the ‘The Pack’ from rugby clubs in England and Wales, working with the RFU and WRU. This is a great opportunity to recognise those who support the Game week in week out in their club and community.

“In addition we want to bring new people into rugby and will run a national campaign searching for 1,500 volunteers to join ‘The Pack’ with the aim of keeping them involved in the Game beyond 2015. Members of ‘The Pack’ will help us to provide the teams and fans with a fantastic experience in 2015 and we look forward to opening the application process in March.”   

England Rugby 2015 Ambassador and RWC 2003 winner Jonny Wilkinson added: “Throughout my career I have seen the vital role that volunteers play in the running of rugby clubs at all levels. Whether it means helping with club administration, coaching, cleaning kit, driving teams across the country or stewarding on match days, these are the people who allow the Game to thrive.

"It is great to recognise the rugby community through the RWC 2015 volunteer programme, and also use this as an opportunity to get more people involved in the Game.”

Unsung heroes

Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: “Volunteers are the unsung heroes in community sport who ensure that rugby takes place up and down the country at the grassroots. It is great that many people from local rugby clubs will get the chance to volunteer at the biggest tournament in the Game, as well as there being spaces for people who are new to the sport to be part of ‘The Pack.’ I know all those that are selected will do a fantastic job in welcoming both the teams and fans from across the world.”

Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director, added: "Volunteers are a key part of rugby's unique heritage and culture and we rely on them 365 days a year to run our clubs and constituent bodies, referee our games, coach players and introduce people to our great Game in schools, colleges and universities.

"It is fantastic that the involvement of these volunteers has been recognised in ‘The Pack’ and I am sure they will add greatly to the atmosphere of the tournament. Recruitment of volunteers from outside of the rugby community also offers us a great chance to boost the numbers of volunteers in our Game. We'll be working hard to encourage and support all applicants - successful and unsuccessful - to join the rugby family and make our great game part of their lives."

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset also reinforced the importance of a successful volunteer programme.

"Rugby is all about teamwork and the successful delivery of a tournament of this scale could not be possible without a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers delivering the full range of services from transport to welcoming supporters and teams to accreditation," said Lapasset.

"England has a rich tradition of excellent volunteers and being a superb host and the RWC volunteers will have a key role to play in ensuring a memorable experience for all who attend England 2015."