- 6 April marks International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
- Second cycle of rugby for social development programme
- UN Sustainable Development Goals and rugby values embraced
- Programme to benefit more than 30,000 children and young adults across 30 countries
World Rugby is joining the global sporting community in celebrating the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April with the announcement of its latest Spirit of Rugby partners.
The rugby for social development programme is a key pillar of the international federation's commitment for a global, accessible and inclusive game and the 2019-20 partners are:
World Rugby will support the Spirit of Rugby partners in a variety of ways, including technical support, facilitating collaboration with stakeholders and profile-raising opportunities along with financial and in-kind assistance. In addition, World Rugby will continue to collaborate with 2017-18 Spirit of Rugby partner organisations Terres en Mêlées and Trust Rugby International, as well as long-term kit recycling and redistribution partner SOS Kit Aid.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “World Rugby is proud to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by announcing World Rugby’s Spirit of Rugby partners for 2019-20. The growing interest in this key programme illustrates not just the success of the first edition but the growing recognition of the link between sport and societal development and the suitability of rugby to deliver sustainable, values-based programmes across a wide range of communities, many of which face daily challenges.”
Programmes will use rugby to support a wide variety of initiatives around youth education, gender equality, leadership and empowerment, civic and social inclusion with a focus on refugee integration, female and general health awareness alongside HIV/AIDS education, environmental sustainability, collaborative partnerships and rugby for all activities. All Spirit of Rugby partner programmes are closely aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and will report progress over the course of the 2019-20 programme.
The first edition of the Spirit of Rugby programme offered support to rugby for social development programmes and engaged more than 20,000 participants in over 20 countries. For the 2019-20 cycle, it is anticipated that the programme’s reach will increase to benefit in excess of 30,000 children and young adults, male and female, across approximately 30 countries globally, including Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in Africa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Asia, and Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Serbia and Wales in Europe.
Following a public call for applications in 2018, there was an increase in interest and applications from organisations using rugby for social development. Applications were reviewed against a range of objective criteria to ensure alignment with World Rugby values and the UNSDGs, member union support and consistency with rugby development objectives.
Beaumont added: “The high calibre of applications is testament to the many great volunteer and grassroots organisations working across the world to improve quality of life and ensure future opportunities for young children, adults and their respective communities, while delivering on our mission to grow the global game, driven by World Rugby’s vision to be a sport for all, true to its values of passion, respect and solidarity.
“World Rugby is looking forward to working with these Spirit of Rugby partners in 2019 and 2020 and sharing with the rugby family the great stories and impacts these organisations are having in their communities through our sport.”
Alongside the Spirit of Rugby partners, World Rugby works closely with a range of other stakeholders to promote and deliver sustainable and inclusive rugby for development initiatives, including the International Olympic Committee, ChildFund Pass It Back, Peace and Sport, the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation and International Gay Rugby among others.