With only two years to go before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, in which Leicester has been chosen as one of eleven host cities, a new scheme has been put into place to celebrate the countdown.
Posts in the Park is an initiative brought to the city by the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) ‘Lead up and Legacy’ scheme, which aims to encourage Rugby novices and enthusiasts alike to get involved with the sport. Jenna Bonser RFU’s Rugby Development Officer told Pukaar News, “The excitement is growing and over the next two years there will be different initiatives and programmes we can get out to introduce new people to the game.”
The scheme will see seven sets of posts positioned throughout parks in the city, including Western Park and Braunstone Park, as well as a further three around the country, which will be available to everybody in the community to partake in some Rugby fun.
Yesterday saw the first of the posts being officially launched at Victoria Park where pupils from St John the Baptist Primary School were treated to a morning of tag rugby, training and skills by expert RFU coaches. Student Annabelle Hunt said, “We’ve been playing tag rugby and it’s been so much fun. I’d invite some of my friends to play with the posts in the park.”
Also in attendance of yesterday’s unveiling of the posts was Leicester’s Assistant City Mayor for Heritage, Leisure and Sport Councillor Piara Singh Clair who said, “I am very proud that Leicester will be one of the host cities for the Rugby World Cup 2015, which will be a truly spectacular and memorable event. Victoria Park is already well-used by local football and rugby teams, so this new rugby post will be a welcome addition for budding players and people wanting to recreate the iconic moments in world rugby, such as Jonny Wilkinson’s incredible drop kick which secured England the Rugby World Cup in 2003.”
There will be a total of 100 posts going up in parks around the country, with RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie saying, “Over the past year we have put in place realistic plans and additional investment to ensure that we build a lasting legacy for the game. We want more people playing, coaching, refereeing and volunteering, watching and talking about rugby – and we are on our way to delivering that vision.”
Three of the games will be played at Leicester City Stadium when the World Cup begins on 18 September 2015, bringing with it a host of the world’s greatest international players.