This morning, Stephen went to visit volunteer ‘Try Outs’ for the 2015 Rugby World Cup at the Leyton Score Centre. These volunteers will form a 6,000 strong group named ‘The Pack’. The tournament organisers have ensured that 75% of ‘The Pack’ will be from the Rugby Community, in line with the tournament vision to have Rugby at the heart of the tournament. The remaining 25% of volunteers will come from the general public. The tournament organisers hope to bring new people to rugby and, as part of the legacy, hope these volunteers will stay with the game long after the tournament is over.
The members of ‘The Pack’ have an important role to play in the tournament. They will undertake a range of tasks that will assist in the running of the tournament. Some members may become specialists focussing on media operations and accreditation. Others will assist with transportation and spectator services such as meet and greet or wayfinding. Whatever their role, ‘The Pack’ members will be hard at work to ensure the public have an excellent World Cup experience!
Stephen found out that the ‘Try Outs’ will continue until December 2014 in each of its host cities. It is estimated that 10,000 people will go through the ‘Try Outs’ in order to secure the 6000 volunteers needed for the World Cup. Whilst at the venue he spoke to a number of prospective volunteers going through the selection process. Stephen saw the artfully created exhibition space dedicated to the history of rugby, a motivational video for would-be volunteers and a real-life changing room for volunteers to try kit on for size. Nonetheless, ‘The Pack’ applications have now closed and there has been tremendous support and enthusiasm from clubs and the general public.
Speaking after the event, Stephen said: "I am deeply impressed by what I have seen here at the Leyton Score Centre today. It is clear that the organisers of the 2015 World Cup are doing a tremendous job and the spirit of the thousands of people wishing to volunteer to make it an unforgettable tournament is infectious. I feel reassured that when supporters come to the UK from all around the world next year to cheer on their teams, they will be in very capable hands. And I am particularly excited that Newham will be a Host City with matches being played at the Olympic Stadium. It further cements the legacy of the 2012 Games and Newham as a major hub for global sport."