Rugby club volunteers in Whitley Bay have kicked off their World Cup campaign.
Officials at Whitley Bay Rockcliff Rugby Football Club have launched a bid to ensure they can make the most of the tournament that will see three matches played at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park home.
It comes as Rockcliff step up their fundraising efforts to make sure that they can boast facilities that will prompt people of all ages to start playing rugby at their local club.
Tens of thousands of rugby fans will flock to the north east in October and a new committee of volunteers at Rockcliff are gearing up to make sure that capitalise on the popularity of the competition.
With the famous All Blacks, South Africa, Samoa, Tonga and Scotland all due to play in Newcastle, Rockcliff are hoping to entice visitors from overseas to the club with a special Scotland-themed weekend already being planned.
There will also be a World Cup-themed schools tournament in the build-up to the competition getting under way in earnest as well as special assault courses at the club and at local schools.
But they are also hoping to get more people of all ages who live in and around Whitley Bay to get involved in club activities when the Rugby World Cup gets under way to ensure a prosperous future.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to join in the RWC World Cup party and we are determined to grab it with both hands,” said club official Ross Bailey, who is leading the Rockcliff planning.
“The competition will have an incredible impact on the North East of England and we want to make sure that everyone who gets the rugby bug will join us at Rockcliff so we can turn it into a real festival of sport.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that Rockcliff is at the heart of the community where people of all ages know they can enjoy their rugby in whatever way they want and that’s why we are going to work our socks off to bring World Cup fever to Whitley Bay this year.”
Ross is chairing a special committee that has been set up to make sure the club is ready for the sudden upturn in interest in rugby union generated by the World Cup.
The club is also considering having a special touch-rugby competition with teams featuring everyone from the youngest to the oldest rugby players of both sexes.
Rockcliff are also keen to invigorate their girls’ section and aim to boost the recently re-established girls’ team with fresh faces.
The club’s director of rugby, Neil Hayton, is keen to ensure that the World Cup leaves a lasting legacy at Rockcliff.
“It has been amazing to see the way Rockcliff Rugby Football Club go from strength to strength over the last few years, especially among local boys and girls,” said Neil.
“Rugby union is really thriving in and around Whitley Bay and the future of the game here is looking bright but the Rugby World Cup represents a great chance to build on the firm foundations that have been built at Rockcliff.”
For further details contact Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC on (0191) 251 3704.