World Rugby and the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) have reaffirmed their commitment to close collaboration after a productive week of meetings in Dublin.
World Rugby House played host to a series of planning meetings of the IWRF Board and Committee Chairs as well as strategic workshops between the two federations, who signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 to work together on matters of mutual interest at a time of unprecedented growth.
The meeting in Dublin provided a framework to review the existing memorandum of understanding and identify new strategic opportunities for the sports.
Across the week, the IWRF delegation met with representatives from the development, competitions, technical services, high performance, finance and communications teams to gather information from World Rugby on its activities and consider opportunities for closer cooperation.
Key inter-organisational outcomes included:
- identifying focused anti-doping services
- raising profile and stakeholder engagement via social media approach
- closer collaboration regarding wheelchair rugby inclusion at multi-sport games
These are exciting times for both sports with wheelchair rugby activities being planned to coincide with Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan – the home nation of the 2018 IWRF World Champions - and recent confirmation that wheelchair rugby will feature at the World Games for the first time in 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to be hosting our friends from the Board and Committees of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation for their planning meetings. There is a strong bond and collaboration between our respective federations and during the week we were able to discuss furthering our relationship and collaborating on areas of mutual interest.
“Rugby is a sport for all and both federations are committed to inclusivity at all levels. In a Rugby World Cup year, closely followed by what promises to be very successful editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020, we are delighted to be partnering with the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation to cross-promote two dynamic, exciting sports when the eyes of the world are on Japan.”
International Wheelchair Rugby Federation President Richard Allcroft said: “This week we have been devising our strategies for the next five years. Being able to do that with our partner World Rugby has been invaluable and I look forward to sharing more with our membership over the coming weeks.”
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