The RFU today announced its O2 Touch programme has hit a major milestone with 12,000 registered players, playing in over 275 centres nationwide. O2 Touch has seen a 7% increase in participation levels since the start of the World Cup with the programme attracting 750 additional players to get involved in the sport.
The O2 Touch programme is coordinated by the RFU in partnership with O2 and forms part of the RFU’s commitment to broadening rugby’s reach and sustaining legacy for the game post 2015.
Since 2012, the O2 Touch programme has been a social format of rugby, aiming to breakdown common barriers to participation, by creating an offering that is easily accessible, social and gives participants a great playing experience, regardless of ability level.
Through a dedicated volunteer O2 Touch Operator and Ambassador network, the O2 Touch programme operates both a ‘pitch up and play’ facility aimed at individuals who are new to rugby or who can’t commit on a weekly basis and O2 Touch leagues for those who want to play in a more structured and competitive environment.
Speaking at the FIND RUGBY @ TRAFALGAR SQUARE week long festival, Jason Robinson, O2 Touch Ambassador and former England World Cup 2003 winner said: “O2 Touch is an exciting, fast paced, highly social mixed format of the game that can be played by anyone! It’s fantastic to be involved and celebrating the 12,000 milestone. The growth figures over the last five weeks alone are testament to just how accessible and attractive the game is for both men and women across the country. O2 Touch is an important programme to ensure a lasting legacy for rugby and we hope to see participation levels grow from strength to strength.”
Gareth Griffiths, Head of Sports Sponsorship at O2 comments “O2 is committed to grassroots rugby so it’s great to see O2 Touch achieving such an impressive milestone. With 12,000 registered players we now have the largest grassroots community programme in the country. Touch rugby provides a fantastic entry point to the sport no matter what your ability and with 275 O2 Touch centres nationwide it’s never been easier to play.”
FIND RUGBY @ TRAFALGAR SQUARE is four-day event at London’s Trafalgar Square to showcase a number of its programmes encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in rugby. The event, supported by the Mayor of London, is taking place until Thursday 29th October and forms part of the RFU’s legacy strategy to grow the game in this country.
For more information about O2 Touch visit www.o2touch.co.uk