2 Oct 2020
We continue our aim to be a trailblazer in the areas of social impact
RLWC2021 Chief Executive Jon Dutton, speaking at the inspiring RLWC2021 webinar ‘Running a purpose driven sports tournament: Driving corporate values, inclusivity and social mobility’.
A digest: RLWC2021 Webinar - ‘Running a purpose driven sports tournament: Driving corporate values, inclusivity and social mobility’
Rugby League World Cup 2021 aims to be a trailblazer in the areas of social impact and deliver a huge positive social change in areas such as culture and heritage in the North of England.
RLWC2021 Chief Executive Jon Dutton, speaking at the inspiring RLWC2021 webinar ‘Running a purpose driven sports tournament: Driving corporate values, inclusivity and social mobility’ alongside cross-code legend Jason Robinson OBE, set out the special aims of this unique tournament.
“This is not about a tournament lasting five weeks, this is a tournament we've been working on for five years and looking to make an impact on local communities", said the RLWC2021 CEO.
"It's about integration, it's about making a positive impact and one of the things we're keen to do is measure the success of this and then pass that knowledge on. A lot of sporting events have been measured in quantitative ways, especially from an economic impact perspective.”
Jon Dutton added:
"We're interested in measuring memories. We want to be the trailblazer and try and measure positive experiences in areas like heritage and culture. Hopefully, people will stop talking about legacy and look at the social impact that events like this provide."
But as Jon Dutton stressed the social impact extends beyond the stadium and into the communities which are so tightly linked with Rugby League in the North of England – 85 per cent of all matches will be played there.
“Our unique commitment to making a positive social impact is the component of this tournament that sets us apart from those who have gone before us and have focused on measuring participation.
“During the bid process I visited one local authority to talk through the tournament and the opportunity. I was greeted with ‘we don’t have the money’ but after outlining our commitment to making positive social change those same people were asking where to sign.
“I think that demonstrates the opportunity we have here to make a positive social difference through our programs in the North but we also relish the challenge of inspiring a new fan base through our powerful initiatives in the south, and we are confident that our chosen hosts will continue to play a vital role in delivering the greatest, and most inclusive, Rugby League World Cup of all time.”
The RLWC2021 is the first in history to embrace the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments – and so living up to its promise to be the most inclusive, accessible and affordable tournament in history. That mantra extends to the ticket policy which Jason Robinson applauds.
“I come from a background that would have made watching many tournaments impossible to afford but this one is different. For the price of a cup of coffee you can be a part of what promises to be the biggest and best RLWC in history,” said the Rugby Union World Cup winner in 2003 and dual international.
“Kids need to be inspired and we need to make it accessible. RLWC2021 is all about inspiring and changing people's lives. When I look at what Rugby League has done for me - I lived in a deprived area, wasn't academic - but my PE teacher introduced me to Rugby League.
“PE at school was the only place that I felt I could be something, it gave me focus, confidence and discipline. That intro from a PE teacher has made me become an MBE and OBE.
“RLWC2021 will tell and show kids what they can do. It will attract people to the sport as they will see, perhaps for the first time, high profile women's and wheelchair Rugby League alongside the men's game. Role models are important, we will give you the opportunity, celebrate and give people a platform. It will inspire people watching and those playing - and give them the world stage."
Dutton closed the webinar with: “If you only have one hour of your life to dedicate to Rugby League, watch wheelchair Rugby League. It is the most inclusive sport you will ever see. Disabled and non-disabled athletes, men and women, playing together.”
For more information on commercial opportunities please contact: Hanaa Skalli - Hanaa.Skalli@rlwc2021.com
Full stream of the event can be watched on the RLWC2021 YouTube channel.