Rugby 2011 Establishes Legacy Programme for Pacific Islands

By Community | May 3, 2012

The positive effects of Rugby’s 2011 are still surfacing as the Oceania region are set to benefit from the delivery of key training equipment to the Pacific Islands thanks to the dedicated Legacy programme.

The unprecedented initiative, a key element of the official Rugby World Cup 2011 Legacy programme, underscores the joint strategic objectives of the New Zealand Rugby Union, the International Rugby Board and the New Zealand Government to deliver a world class event that would benefit the Pacific Islands.

Market-leading equipment used by the 20 participating Unions at New Zealand 2011, including scrum machines, tackle bags, hit shields, tackle suits, contact suits and post pads will be distributed across the 13 Unions affiliated to the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) Regional Association.

Men, women and children at all levels of the Game from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis et Futuna will benefit from the equipment. It will be transported free-of-charge courtesy of Rugby World Cup 2011 Worldwide Partner DHL with Cook Islands’ equipment arriving this week.

To launch the programme, Rugby World Cup 2011-winning All Black Jerome Kaino is accompanying the Webb Ellis Cup to the Cook Islands. The Union will be the first to receive a shipment of Rugby equipment just as it prepares to host the FORU Annual General Meeting.

NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew commented: “Pacific Rugby fans – both in New Zealand and their Island homelands – added something special to the tournament. It was great to see the Pacific communities in New Zealand and in the Islands make the most of a home away from home advantage. It’s only fitting that we share the success of the tournament through the distribution of equipment that for these Unions is not always easy to acquire.”

Cook Islands Rugby Union President Chris McKinley said: “This will be very well used in our upcoming season and will certainly lift the look and standard of our game. We are very grateful to all parties and believe this will also raise the standard of our high performance Unit we are presently establishing.”

IRB General Manager for Oceania William Glenwright added: “Rugby in Oceania is going from strength to strength. The distribution of RWC equipment to the FORU Unions is invaluable and underscores that the event, hosted in Oceania, was truly an event for the Oceania Rugby family. The Rugby World Cup 2011 legacy programme is another example of the collective commitment to the ongoing development of Rugby throughout the region and particularly in the Pacific Islands.”

The commercial success of the tournament has enabled the IRB to invest over NZD $300 million in the global Game between 2009 and 2012 with NZD $34 million going directly to Oceania to assist with competitions, development, training and education initiatives.

DHL RWC Manager Transport and Logistics Frederick Donovan said: “As a Worldwide partner of RWC 2011, DHL was committed to delivering Rugby to the world and when the opportunity of delivering the legacy equipment to the Pacific Island nations presented itself, we could not think of a more appropriate project to complement the transport and logistical involvement DHL provided during the tournament. On this fantastic project we also had assistance from Reef Shipping, and from legendary Samoa and New Zealand flanker Michael Jones.”