Taking full advantage of the atmosphere created by the record breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy tour in India, Rugby India targeted reaching 50,000 new Get Into Rugby participants in just 15 days.
The program ran from 1-15 August and Rugby India successfully delivered more than their original target, making it India’s biggest Get Into Rugby activation to date.
Mr. Mahesh Mathai, Secretary General Rugby India said, “I would like to thank World Rugby for selecting India as one of the 18 countries where the Webb Ellis Cup will tour.
“I am pleased to inform that Rugby India has been successful in reaching out to 54680 new participants.
“As the trophy departs from India, I would like to wish World Rugby all the very best for the remainder of the tour.”
The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour was a real success with the media in India as more than 120 local and international media attended trophy tour events, generating over 300 pieces of print and digital media coverage reaching a circulation of over 10 million.
Indian film superstars Sidharth Malhotra and Rahul Bose added Bollywood stardust and fully participated in the activities, supporting it through their social media audiences.
Abhishek Bachchan, Atul Kasbekar and many more Bollywood stars joined in the online conversation. Having a combined audience of over 20 million followers, rugby was a trending topic on social media in India.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper participated in the Delhi and Mumbai legs of the trophy tour and was impressed by the exceptional level of interest and enthusiasm for rugby in India.
“Bringing the Webb Ellis Cup to India for the first time has been the catalyst for a breakthrough moment for the game in terms of political interaction, fan engagement and media exposure,” said Gosper.
“We have witnessed unprecedented interest in rugby being ignited in this country of 1.3 billion people and there is a great sense of momentum building, as demonstrated by the record breaking turn out of over 15,000 schoolchildren in Bhubaneswar and the support received from the stars of Bollywood and other Indian sporting legends.
“We were very encouraged to listen to the Sports Minister speak of the potential for growth of rugby and perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the tour was to see first-hand that rugby in India is being embraced by players and fans from all backgrounds and social classes, in keeping with World Rugby’s ethos of a game for all.
“Thanks to the hard-working efforts of World Rugby’s partners in Asia Rugby and Rugby India the platform is set for the first Rugby World Cup in Asia next year to be a game-changer for the sport in this region, which has such huge growth potential. Our challenge now is to ensure that the seeds planted during this ground-breaking trophy tour are given every opportunity to develop in future.”
Nasser Husain GM Rugby India Spoke to Asia Rugby about the project 50K , “This Get Into Rugby (GIR) powered project 50K was successful in all aspects. The Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour has been instrumental in boosting our Grassroots efforts.
It is very encouraging to see that approximately 38% of the participants have come through our Asia 1 Million centers and over 45% of the total outreach were women and girls.
The presence of the coveted Webb Ellis Cup also served as an ideal platform for us to encourage and engage the newer centers especially in north eastern parts of he country.
Through the hard work put in by our development staff, we have managed to expand our rugby footprint to over 50 new districts across India.
I would like to give a special shout out to our partners Societe Generale for their commitment towards the GIR program in India and to all the states, clubs, players, volunteers who have helped us achieve this mammoth target, paving the way for increased growth of Rugby in India.”