The Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee and Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) announced the launch of the Dream Beyond 2019 Future Plan under the umbrella of World Rugby’s global tournament legacy programme - Impact Beyond 2019.
The plan will see the organising committee and JRFU working collaboratively with the 12 host cities and local prefectural rugby unions to further grow rugby participation and develop grassroots Rugby in local communities throughout the build- up and hosting of RWC 2019.
The plan will bring together the rugby community and the local government of the host cities to further strengthen rugby culture and leverage the impact to the local community through hosting RWC 2019. Furthermore, the plan aspires to have the prefectural unions and the host cities continue to work together in partnership following the tournament, to build on the legacy created by RWC 2019 to sustainably spread rugby across Japan, among all age groups.
A key element of the Future Plan is Rugby Introduction Days that are being held for pre-school, elementary and junior high school children throughout 2018. Delivered in collaboration with 178 rugby schools registered with the prefectural rugby unions in the 12 host cities, this will be the first time Rugby Introduction Days have been delivered on a nationwide level.
The lead-up to RWC 2019 will see various rugby promotion programmes taking place in and around the Fan Zones at major rugby fixtures played throughout Japan. Coaching clinics encouraging kids to get into rugby will be held during the June test series when Japan plays host to Italy and Georgia, in October for the Bledisloe Cup between Australia and New Zealand in Yokohama and across the 2018-19 Top League season.
The Impact Beyond 2019 programme aims to capitalise on the success and harness the potential of the world’s most populous continent by focusing on four key pillars to enable unions to drive participation growth while growing sustainable business models for the sport:
1. GROWING THE GAME IN JAPAN
Target: 200,000 active participants at all levels in Japan
2. GROWING THE GAME ACROSS ASIA
Target: One million new players in Asia with a total of two million by 2020
3. GROWING BROADCAST TO INSPIRE NEW AUDIENCES IN ASIA
Target: Reaching 40 million viewers on all platforms by making rugby more widely available
4. GROWING THE GAME GLOBALLY
Target: Maximise the impact of the RWC 2019 to grow the game globally to 11 million players by 2020
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The Rugby World Cup is a truly nationwide event with venues covering the length and breadth of Japan. By connecting the 12 host cities and 52 team camps the Future Plan forms an important part of the Impact Beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 legacy programme, which will ensure that the once-in-a-lifetime social, economic and inspirational benefits of hosting the tournament are felt for generations to come.”
Japan Rugby Football Union President Tadashi Okamura said: “Dream Beyond 2019 Future Plan, based on the Impact Beyond 2019 legacy programme will ensure a strong and lasting legacy following RWC 2019. The plan will contribute to the future growth of local community rugby, ensuring the tournament is a valuable and worthwhile experience for all stakeholders.”
Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee President and CEO, Akira Shimazu said: “Rugby World Cup is one of the world’s great sporting celebrations. Its positive effects will not only be felt in the host cities but across the entire nation. The Future Plan outlines our legacy initiatives that will to ensure the tournament is remembered for years to come. We have developed this plan together with our partners to realise the goals and aspirations of JRFU, host cities, prefectural rugby unions and local governments. We are working in unison to connect, create and go forward as one with our stakeholders so that the tournament leaves behind a truly great legacy.”