WOODEN Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby in its 30th year of operation, has been announced as the Official Charity Partner for Rugby League World Cup 2013 (RLWC2013) in England and Wales.
The charity will return funds raised during RLWC2013 – which starts at the Millennium Stadium with its Opening Ceremony on October 26th – to develop a long-term legacy within the Rugby Football League (RFL) community which will benefit disadvantaged young people throughout Britain.
Sally Bolton, RLWC2013 General Manager said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Wooden Spoon. RLWC2013 is building to be fantastic for both England and Wales and it’s great to have a community-focussed charity on board to ensure all the local people involved feel the benefit of hosting such an event.”
RLWC2013 ambassador Gareth Thomas joined Wooden Spoon ambassador Shaun Edwards to announce the partnership at Trinity Fields School and Resource Centre in South Wales, a beneficiary of Wooden Spoon.
Thomas said: “When world cups come about, everyone across the globe takes notice. It’s the chance to create a legacy for the sport in Wales, particularly with the opening ceremony in the Millennium Stadium which may be the greatest show rugby league has seen with.”
Edwards added: “Wooden Spoon transforms young peoples’ lives through the power of rugby. This partnership is a great opportunity to really cement Wooden Spoon as the charity of rugby.”
As part of the partnership, Wooden Spoon have provided a grant of £80,000 to the £1million RLWC2013 Dance Programme which will involve hundreds of disadvantaged and disabled young people who will perform at the opening and closing ceremonies as well as throughout the tournament.
Steve Holt, CEO of Wooden Spoon, said: “It is a great honour for Wooden Spoon during our 30thanniversary year to be recognised as the Official Charity for RLWC2013 which promises to be a fantastic sporting event as part of a spectacular decade for British Sport.”
Wooden Spoon was founded in 1983 and inspired by its rugby heritage, its core values of passion, integrity, teamwork and fun, have so far benefited over one million young people.
Wooden Spoon’s over 40 regional committees and 10,000 members undertake local fundraising activities and only spend the money raised on projects in their local community which has so far amounted to around £20million.
In 2009 the RFL became a patron and have worked alongside Wooden Spoon on community programmes aimed at significantly improving the lives of 16-19 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training.
In 2011, Wooden Spoon received the International Rugby Board’s Spirit of Rugby Award for its services in the charity sector. Wooden Spoon is the only charity to have received this prestigious award.