The Christchurch Rugby community has been given a significant boost after Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) confirmed a donation of NZ$400,000 through the RWC Christchurch Appeal to assist with Rugby infrastructure restoration at all levels.
Well-wishers from around the world joined Rugby World Cup 2011 participating teams and fans in supporting the Appeal, which was launched on the eve of Rugby’s showcase event, by making donations via the official website at www.rwcchristchurchappeal.com.
The donation will specifically assist with the restoration of Rugby infrastructure at all levels following the devastating earthquakes that struck the region earlier this year and continuing aftershocks.
The NZ$400,000 donation includes a significant contribution from RWCL and is in addition to the strong support demonstrated by IRB Member Unions and RWC 2011 participating teams throughout 2011.
Teams, including Australia, England, France, Scotland and New Zealand all demonstrated their support for the Appeal through separate donations or visits to Christchurch during Rugby World Cup 2011. All involved with the tournament wanted to ensure the people of Christchurch were central to the biggest event ever hosted in New Zealand.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The response of the global Rugby family in uniting as one behind our friends in Christchurch has been tremendous. The RWC Christchurch Appeal allowed fans from around the world, the IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited to collectively show our support.”
“Everyone involved wanted to send a clear message to the people of Christchurch that they were still at the heart of Rugby World Cup 2011 and the stadium of four million hosts and the Appeal was one way of letting them know that Rugby worldwide cares.”
“On behalf of the International Rugby Board and Rugby World Cup Limited I would like to thank everyone who has supported and promoted the Appeal and each and every fan who has contributed to a cause that will significantly assist the Rugby community in Christchurch."
With Rugby very much at the heart of the community in the city, all donations will be passed on to the Canterbury Rugby Earthquake Charitable Trust, administered by the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, to support the work of the Trust in targeting communities that have been hit the hardest.
A number of clubs, schools and communities continue to need assistance with the repair and development of Rugby grounds and facilities, while players and clubs continue to face financial hardship as a result of the earthquakes.
Dave Rhodes, Canterbury Rugby Football Union Chairman and member of the Canterbury Rugby Relief Charitable Trust, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the announcement of the donation. It is a tremendous boost to the Trust as it works to restore the capacity of the Rugby community in Canterbury – particularly on the east side of Christchurch where so much damage has occurred and so many lives have been disrupted.”
“This donation gives the Trust a real opportunity to help deliver Rugby to those parts of our community that are struggling the most – we are very, very grateful to RWCL and the generosity of the global Rugby family.”
Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, added: “In Christchurch we were heartbroken to lose our Rugby World Cup matches after the February earthquake, but the tournament reached out to us and we were able to enjoy and feel part of what was the biggest sporting event ever hosted in our country.”
“We are hugely appreciative of this donation particularly given the current situation in our city. I would like to express our gratitude to RWCL, the International Rugby Board and the global Rugby family for their support. Their generosity will greatly assist the rebuilding of the Rugby community in Christchurch.”
For further information on the RWC Christchurch Appeal and how to donate please visit www.rwcchristchurchappeal.com.