Rugby World Cup 2015 today announced that it would be looking to recruit 6,000 volunteers nationally – of which 300 will be involved in and around Exeter’s match venue at Sandy Park, and 50 to 100 volunteers in and around the city and the Fanzone in Northernhay Gardens.
• 6,000 volunteers nationally will join ‘The Pack’- the volunteers for Rugby World Cup 2015
• ‘The Pack’ will also give members of the public, who are new to the game of rugby, the chance to be part of the tournament
• England Rugby 2015 will recruit volunteers who are interested in supporting the game beyond 2015 as part of its legacy
• Applications open March 17, 2014 and close April 17, 2014
Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council's Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, said: "This is an exciting and unique opportunity to get involved in sporting history.
"The city is looking to recruit between 350 and 400 volunteers to help in the Fanzone, in and around the city and to assist at Sandy Park."
Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe OBE said: "With the Rugby World Cup coming to Exeter next year, we are already beginning to see the excitement levels build in and around not just the city itself, but also the region as a whole. The volunteer programme offers a fantastic opportunity for local people to get involved in one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
"I've no doubt that there will be huge interest from local people, all of whom will be keen to promote and assist in showcasing the City of Exeter and the Westcountry as a whole."
The Fanzone will be open for up to 18 days with free entry throughout the tournament, and will show live matches on a big screen, hold a variety of events and entertainment for fans and families, and a wide range of food stalls and beer tents. Other events will be held elsewhere in the city centre to attract visitors to the city and the Fanzone from the rest of the UK and international visitors.
There will be a variety of volunteer opportunities to include Fanzone support, crowd control, driving officials, translation services and providing visitor information in the Fanzone and throughout the city. Predominately based outside the match venue of Sandy Park, volunteers will be the friendly face providing directions to visitors from all over the world while creating a memorable and exciting atmosphere.
Applications will begin on March 17 until April 17 through an online process, and if successful will then take part in selection events (‘Try Outs’) across England and Cardiff, including Exeter on July 21 - 28, with successful members of ‘The Pack’ confirmed in early 2015.
Chief Executive of the England 2015 Organising Committee, Debbie Jevans, said: “’The Pack’ will play a big role in the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015, welcoming the world to England, Cardiff, and to the game of rugby.
“In addition we want to bring new people into rugby and will run a national campaign searching for 1,500 volunteers to join ‘The Pack’ with the aim of keeping them involved in the game beyond 2015.
“Members of ‘The Pack’ will help us to provide the teams and fans with a fantastic experience in 2015 and we look forward to opening the application process in March.”
England 2015 Ambassador and World Cup winner, Jonny Wilkinson, said: “Throughout my career I have seen the vital role that volunteers play in the running of rugby clubs at all levels. Whether it’s helping with club administration, coaching, cleaning kit, driving teams across the country or stewarding on match days, these are the people who allow the game to thrive. It is great to recognise the rugby community through the volunteer programme for Rugby World Cup 2015, and also use this as an opportunity to get more people involved in the game.”
Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) Chairman Bernard Lapasset also reinforced the importance of a successful volunteer programme, "Rugby is all about team work and the successful delivery of a tournament of this scale could not be possible without a team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, delivering the full range of services from transport, to welcoming supporters and teams, to accreditation. England has a rich tradition of excellent volunteers and being a superb host and ‘The Pack’ volunteers will have a key role to play in ensuring a memorable experience for all who attend England 2015."
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