- Get Into Rugby has attracted more than six million participants since 2016
- Get Into Rugby 2.0 to focus on player retention, not just recruitment
- World Rugby committed to making the sport more accessible and relevant to more young people more of the time
- Unions invited to apply for funding in pilot initiative
World Rugby is inviting national member unions to apply to participate in the pilot programme for its reimagined Get Into Rugby programme, the non-contact, mixed gender entry level of the sport worldwide which has attracted more than six million participants since its launch in 2016.
With sport up and running after the pandemic and people returning to rugby in their millions around the globe, World Rugby is looking to partner with up to 10 unions on the remodelled programme, which is focused on player retention via accessible, fun and safe participation. The pilot programme is being supported by an initial grant of £250,000.
The programme has updated all the resources and engagement programmes to better represent rugby participation in an evolving post-pandemic society. The resources, which can found on World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby website are designed to provide unions with all the tools they need to attract the next generation of community rugby players and sustainably grow the game in their country.
As a team sport, grassroots rugby is a proven driver of positive societal and wellbeing benefits for participants, binding communities, building stronger personal values, togetherness and team culture, while contributing to economic and health benefits for nations. As a non-contact offering, Get Into Rugby 2.0 is anchored in these positive and impactful qualities.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “As with every form of entertainment, it is important that rugby is accessible, enjoyable and relevant for young people. Get Into Rugby embodies that mission as an easy, enjoyable and inclusive non-contact entry point to the sport and has been massively successful in boosting participation globally, particularly in the sport’s emerging markets and amongst girls.”
World Rugby Director of Participation Jason Lewis added: “The cessation of rugby during the pandemic provided the rare opportunity to stop, review and rethink our programmes. Get Into Rugby 2.0 was born from that thinking. With a focus on enjoyment, fitness and teamwork, it aims not just to provide an entry point for a new generation of players, but a pathway where everyone can find a level and form of the game for them within the amazing community structures in the sport.
“Assisting players to enter our game in a safe and fun environment will encourage lifelong participation and connection with a growing, global movement. That in turn will encourage more engagement, aid recruitment and retention of players, and most importantly grow a sustainable rugby offering for players to participate in.”
Women and girls represent a major growth area for the sport, particularly in emerging markets. Two thirds of global pre-teen participants post-pandemic are girls, and a major focus of Get Into Rugby 2.0 is the inclusion and retention of girls, encouraging them to try, play and stay in the game.”
World Rugby Director of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox added: “Our mission is to create the same opportunity for every girl and boy to get involved in our great game and stay involved. There is huge competition for youth attention and the challenge is to ensure that rugby is relevant for girls. Working with our unions, we are striving to make rugby fun and accessible, no matter your background or where you live.”
The announcement follows the launch of Game On Global in late 2021, which provides unions with the flexibility at a domestic level to modify elements of the game, including limiting contact, weight-banded participation to promote safe, inclusive and enjoyable participation while ensuring that fixtures can be honoured with reduced numbers.
For more information, visit www.world.rugby/the-game/game-participation/get-into-rugby/intro.