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York sport awarded by Rugby Football Union

Posted on 12 October 2015

The University of York has received a Legacy Gold Standard Award from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for the work it has done to increase participation in rugby through O2 Touch.

Left to right: Rob Andrew, RFU Professional Rugby Director; Ruth Whitehead, touch rugby player; Robert Van Doornewaard, touch rugby player; Grace Clarke, York Sport Union President

The award, presented by RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew, celebrates York’s achievements in increasing numbers of players playing touch rugby on a regular basis, reaching out to the local community and delivering high standards.

The University of York is one of 15 of the 275 O2 Touch centres to have received a Legacy Gold Standard award. The RFU established the awards programme during the Rugby World Cup to demonstrate the important work that is going on around the nation to ensure there is a real and sustainable legacy from the tournament.

Rob Andrew MBE presented the award to the University on Friday 9 October at the York Sport Village and had the opportunity to watch a student group playing a game of touch rugby on the 3G pitch.

Rob Andrew said: “It is great to come and see first-hand the work that the University of York has been doing and present this award. The University of York is a fantastic example of a leading O2 Touch centre that is connecting with the local community and increasing participation of the game through touch.”

Grace Clarke, York Sport Union President, said: "I am absolutely ecstatic to hear that we have been awarded the O2 Touch Rugby Legacy Gold Standard by the RFU. O2 Touch Rugby is a fantastic pathway into university and college rugby. The award is a testament to the O2 Touch activators at our university who lead the sessions and encourage students to get involved.

“We endeavour to strive for excellence across all the different levels of sport. This recognition is fantastic and will hopefully lead to further development of the programme."

Keith Morris, Head of Sport at York Sport Village, said: “This award is great recognition for the efforts of those involved in getting so many students involved in such well organised, regular activity and in some cases for introducing them to the game of rugby itself.

“So much good work has taken place at grass roots and regional level in recent years and this has been reflected by activity on campus. We are delighted that this has been recognised and to welcome Rob Andrew to York at such a busy time in rugby.”

O2 Touch is England Rugby’s fastest growing participation programme with over 11,400 women and men playing O2 Touch throughout 275 O2 Touch centres nationwide. The programme is designed to introduce new players to try a minimal contact, mixed version of the game and inspire former players to return to the sport.

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