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Braunston Parish Council News

500 days to go! 22 Apr 2024 500 days to go! West Northants counts down to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025 with legacy programme Impact ’25 launch event

Today (9 April) marks 500 days to go until the start of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the biggest-ever celebration of women’s international rugby, which will see matches take place in front of a worldwide audience at Northampton’s cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

To mark this momentous day, local women and girls joined members of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Northampton Saints and West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the launch of Impact ’25, the RFU’s transformational legacy programme which aims to grow rugby throughout the country, delivered in partnership with UK Government, Sport England and UK Sport.

The multi-million-pound programme will provide substantial improvements in facilities and greater opportunities for females at all levels of the game and has already seen £12.13m of Government funding committed to women and girls’ grassroots rugby.

Attendees at the event, hosted by Northampton Saints and Loughborough Lightning, were able to take part in women’s ‘Our Parks’ Rugby fit exercise sessions and girls’ non-contact Rugby, led by Lightning players and Saints community coaches, as well as watch the ‘Heart of the Game’ Rugby World Cup trailer produced by local sixth form students from the Bee Hive SEND vocational college for Northampton Film Festival.

Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of WNC and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said: “We are extremely excited to welcome the Women’s Rugby World Cup to West Northamptonshire next year and it was great to experience a taste of what is to come at today’s Impact ’25 launch event.

“This major tournament will bring huge benefits to our area, not only attracting visitors from around the world and showcasing West Northamptonshire's unique rugby culture to millions of viewers, but also encouraging more people to get active and building women and girls’ participation in both Rugby and other sports by providing a wealth of new sporting opportunities.”

Mark Darbon, Chief Executive of Northampton Saints, said: “We were absolutely over the moon to be selected as one of the host venues for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup, and as the tournament approaches, that excitement continues to build.

“Participation in women’s and girls’ rugby throughout our region has never been higher, and the audience for the sport is growing all the time. We are delighted to have played a part in that through our partnership with Loughborough Lightning and our community outreach programmes, as well as by hosting women’s international matches in Northampton in 2021 and 2023.

“We hope bringing several World Cup matches to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens in 2025 will have a transformational effect on rugby in our region – and with 500 days now to go until the tournament gets underway, it’s fantastic to see the Impact ’25 legacy programme also get up and running today.

“We are confident the Women’s Rugby World Cup and Impact ’25 can inspire the next generation of female players and create a lasting legacy of success for women’s rugby and the local community in Northampton and beyond.

“Everyone at Saints is grateful to West Northamptonshire Council for their collaboration in helping us host this event and launch Impact ’25 in Northampton, as well as to the RFU, UK Government and Sport England for their funding and support.”

Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU said: “The opportunity to grow the women’s game was a primary driver behind our bid to host Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, and we are very grateful to Government for committing funding to this transformational programme as part of the tournament.

“Working together with Government, UK Sport, Sport England and World Rugby we will create a legacy for women’s rugby in England and the home nations, both in terms of attracting more fans and people to play, coach, officiate, and volunteer.

“We are already seeing huge strides forwards being made thanks to Impact ‘25 and look forward to seeing further progress over the coming months and years.”

Contact Information

West Northamptonshire Council Communications Team
[email protected]