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Introduction to Impact 25 Women’s Rugby World Cup for The WI Learning Hub

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England. Its purpose is to encourage rugby, and its values, to flourish across England. To find out more please click the link: https://www.englandrugby.com
Rugby World Cup 2025 provides a once in a generation opportunity to accelerate the growth of the game for women and girls and achieve the RFU’s ambition to have 100,000 female players by 2027.  Building capacity and opportunities in the lead up to the tournament is vital to cater for the increased demand the tournament will deliver. The Rugby World Cup Impact Programme, delivered by the RFU in partnership with the DCMS & Sport England will see significant investment across the country providing not only substantial improvements in facilities but the creation of greater opportunities for females than ever before across all levels of the game through its volunteer and coaching programmes. 
The RFU are collaborating with the WI to support the Community Engagement Strand that sits within the Rugby World Cup Impact Programme. The community engagement programme is focused on encouraging women who have not previously visited a rugby club to use the facility by offering new activities that local women want to participate in. The aim is to help promote rugby clubs as safe and inclusive spaces for women and support clubs to strengthen their position as a community facility open to all.
'The WI is proud to be an active partner in the Rugby World Cup Legacy Programme and supporter of the Women's Rugby World Cup 2025.  With this tournament comes an exciting opportunity for the WI to be bold, relevant, inclusive, flexible and inspiring by bringing 'game changing' and long-term opportunities to women at all stages of life, around the country.  Members will have the opportunity to make meaningful impact within their communities and to be a catalyst for both women’s sport and the WI.'
ann jones
Ann Jones
NFWI Chair
Introduction to a Club 
 
The NFWI have a list of all Rugby Clubs that have opted into the Community Engagement Strand of Impact 25.   If there is a Rugby Club in your area, we will be in touch to invite you to get involved.  
 
We facilitate email introductions between WI representatives and Rugby Clubs, sharing details on the club’s community resources. Following the introduction, schedule a visit to explore opportunities for collaboration. 
Planning your first visit to the club 
 
Rugby clubs boast their own distinct culture and ambiance, sometimes unfamiliar to community visitors. With good planning, you can ensure a positive experience and lay solid foundations for your collaboration. 
 

Not all rugby clubs have prominent signage from the road. Familiarise yourself with the location beforehand; online street view maps can be invaluable. Additionally, some clubs may not have their own parking on site, so be prepared for potential parking charges or the need to find nearby parking.

Dress warmly and wear suitable footwear; you will be invited for a tour of the facilities which may include outdoor spaces and pitches. Even on warm, dry days, grass around the pitches may be damp with morning dew.

Rugby can be a physical sport, and clubs prioritise safety for players and coaches. Follow any safety instructions provided by the club, and remain mindful of your surroundings throughout your visit, including uneven surfaces and steps.

Embrace new experiences and view your surroundings from the perspective of your fellow members. Consider how you could utilise the space as a WI and what benefits the club environment could bring to women from the local area. Rugby clubs encompass diverse communities, so expect to engage with individuals from various backgrounds.

Darts contests, real ale tastings, spectating or officiating, clubs can offer a whole range of exciting new opportunities for your WI – look for future potential.

Understand that many rugby clubs are undergoing development, and significant investments are planned to enhance facilities and surroundings. Avoid comparing club facilities to more established community venues you may be familiar with.

Don't hesitate to seek clarification or ask questions during your visit. Club members will be eager to share their plans, ideas, and experiences with you.

Let us know about your experience! Our Project Co-ordinator will regularly reach out for honest and constructive feedback to not only ensure we are meeting our partnership objectives, but most importantly, to ensure that your WI feels enthused, guided and adequately supported during the process.

Above all, remember to have fun and enjoy your time at the rugby club! Getting to know members of the club is a great way to meet new people, develop new friendships and potentially increase your WI membership!

Keep in mind, this visit presents a rare chance for your WI to connect with a different facet of your community, fostering fun, friendship, and personal growth. Embrace the experience and seize the opportunity to make lasting connections 

Monitoring and evaluation
 
If you are a WI member who has taken part in activities at a Rugby Club, we’d love to hear all about it. 
You can email on wirugby@nfwi.org.uk or Complete a Feedback Form