The Rugby Football Union, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and England Rugby 2015, has launched an interactive, innovative website designed to bring Rugby World Cup 2015 to life in secondary schools throughout the country.
Designed by a group of teachers, the site is packed with resources and offers ideas and materials to incorporate rugby into a range of subjects as part of the build-up to next year's Rugby World Cup, which is being staged in England. To view the site, log on to www.englandrugbyteachersresource.com.
The site is based around the RFU's five core values – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. It offers creative ways in which teachers can apply each of those values in meaningful ways which will benefit their students across the curriculum.
RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger said: "This is an exciting project to help us raise awareness of rugby union in schools and inspire more young people to play the game or be involved in the sport in other ways.
"Our aim is to help them feel part of the excitement that hosting RWC 2015 will bring to this country and to have a real connection to the sport in the build-up to the tournament.
"This new website will give schools access to a whole range of educational materials and ideas which can bring the game to life in imaginative ways. We are proud of the values that our sport promotes and we hope this website will help teachers to encourage them in all areas of school life."
The website was unveiled this morning alongside the School Rugby Ambassador Programme, which was launched at Wilmslow High School by England 2015 Ambassador Will Greenwood and England Women's star Fran Matthews. Both this programme and the website are integral parts of a wider young people's programme being developed by the Rugby Football Union, England Rugby 2015 and the Youth Sport Trust to increase awareness of, and engagement in, the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Throughout May, the RFU, supported by the Youth Sport Trust, delivered the second stage of Young Rugby Ambassador conferences that sought to recruit young people aged 16 to 20 years old to promote Rugby World Cup 2015 within the English club network. There are currently 909 Young Rugby Ambassadors and 441 mentors who also have the task of encouraging players to come back to the game as well as cultural engagement.
Schools in England can register their interest by visitingwww.youthsporttrust.org/how-we-can-help/rugby-world-cup-2015/school-rugby-ambassadors.aspx.
Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, Debbie Jevans, said:
"Through this partnership with the RFU and Youth Sport Trust we are engaging young people in RWC 2015 and helping to spread the excitement around the country as we head towards the Tournament.
"We want young people to play an important role in welcoming the world to this proud Rugby nation and this initiative will give an excellent opportunity for fans, players and visitors to interact with schools and the local community."
Will Greenwood, a World Cup winner in 2003, added: "Rugby World Cup 2015 offers us the perfect chance to engage young people across the country in grassroots Rugby and the School Rugby Ambassador programme will be the driving force in helping to utilise the sort of enthusiasm that we have witnessed here today.
I hope that all schools take up this great opportunity to support the Tournament and leave a legacy for the game."
Today, Greenwood and Matthews also joined pupils from Wilmslow High School in a tag Rugby tournament to celebrate National School Sport Week.
National School Sport Week is delivered by national charity, the Youth Sport Trust and takes place across England and Wales from June 23-27. The week is a celebration of PE and sport and since 2009, 9.6 million young people and 22,000 schools have taken part.
John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: "It is fantastic to launch the School Rugby Ambassador programme in our weeklong celebration of sport that is inspiring so many young people across the country.
"The energy and enthusiasm of the young leaders will help to drive excitement in schools about the tournament and hopefully encourage thousands of young people to get involved with the sport."