England Rugby 2015, the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC 2015), is in Greater Birmingham for the sixth leg of the volunteer Try Outs to find members of ‘The Pack’.
The selection process is an exciting and informative experience where potential members of ‘The Pack’ will find out more about RWC 2015 and take part in a one-to-one interview. The Try Outs include an exhibition space dedicated to the history of Rugby, a motivational video for would-be volunteers and a real-life changing room to try kit on for size, complete with vintage Rugby sweaters and an authentic heat spray ‘scent’.
An impressive 624 volunteers are set to attend the Try Outs over nine days, demonstrating the sport's great appeal in the Birmingham and the wider region.
Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said: “We want to ensure that Birmingham and the wider region gives a warm welcome to the players and their fans when the Rugby World Cup comes to Birmingham next year and these Try Outs are a great opportunity to get our volunteers geared up for this. I hope everyone will join the volunteers in welcoming our visitors and take inspiration from what promise to be some very exciting matches at Villa Park in September 2015.”
Robin Russell, Aston Villa Football Club Interim Chief Executive, added: “We are proud to have staged World Cup football at Villa Park in 1966 and we are delighted to be one of the venues for rugby's top Tournament, Rugby World Cup 2015, nearly half a century later.”
As part of the selection process, potential members of 'The Pack' are asked questions based on the values of the Game along with questions on suitability for the role that volunteers are being considered for in 2015. There will be a range of roles throughout the lead up and delivery of the Tournament but they will mainly be focused on transport and spectator services. There will be a small number of specialist roles including roles in media operations, accreditation and workforce operations.
Debbie Jevans, Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015, said: “'The Pack' will welcome the world to England, Cardiff and Rugby World Cup 2015. We’re extremely thankful to all those who have volunteered their time to take part in the process, both in Greater Birmingham over the past week and at the events in all of our host cities throughout the year. We have had a fantastic level of interest and applications for the programme which shows the great level of enthusiasm and excitement for volunteering and for the Tournament.
“These are interactive events which give prospective members of 'The Pack' the opportunity to learn about the Tournament, their potential roles and the wider game of Rugby and its values. The feedback from participants has been extremely positive and so we only hope that this enthusiasm and excitement continues to grow as we continue our search to recruit ‘The Pack’ who will make RWC 2015 truly special.”
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services at Visit Birmingham, the city's official leisure tourism programme, said: “2015 is set to be one of Birmingham's busiest and most exciting periods for over a decade, and the Rugby World Cup promises to be something very special. We are delighted to be one of the host venues for the group matches at Villa Park.”
“Birmingham is no stranger to hosting major sporting events, including Test cricket at Edgbaston, world class athletics at the NIA and Alexander Stadium and tennis at the Edgbaston Priory Club. Rugby fans will find Birmingham and the region a great place to explore thanks to the city's enticing offer of attractions, great food, shopping and broad range of accommodation options to suit every pocket.”
20,000 people applied to be members of ‘The Pack’ and 10,000 people will be invited to attend the Try Outs to select the 6,000 people who will help welcome the world to England for the Tournament. The Try Outs, which began in June this year, will run until December 2014 in every Rugby World Cup 2015 host city.
In line with the Tournament vision to have Rugby at the heart, 75% of ‘The Pack’ will come from the Rugby Community who help run the game week in, week out. The rest will come from the general public, an opportunity to bring new people into Rugby. People who have been successful in being selected to be part of ‘The Pack’ will be notified in early 2015.
To date, Try Outs have taken place in The Home of Saracens Rugby, Leyton Orient FC’s Score Centre, The University of Brighton, The University of Exeter and the Millennium Stadium. The Birmingham Try Outs run from Wednesday August 20 to Saturday August 30 at Solihull College.
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- Future Try-Out selection events will be held at: Media City UK (September), GL1 Sports Centre (September), Newcastle Racecourse (September/October), Leeds Metropolitan University (October), University of Leicester (October/November), Bletchley Leisure Centre (November), Richmond Upon Thames (November/December).
- Each Try Out will have an opportunity for media to attend. To register interest please e-mail email@example.com
- The Pack’ applicants must be 18 or over by April 1, 2015 and have the necessary permissions to volunteer in the UK.
- RFU affiliated clubs (voting and non-voting) as well as WRU clubs each nominated between 1-2 members or supporters to join The Pack. Each club then decided on their own nomination mechanism and England Rugby 2015 worked with the clubs in the lead up to applications opening.