If, like us, you’re a rugby fan, you’re no doubt counting down the days until the 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off at Twickenham on 18th September. As fans of the game and also keen advocates of increasing the involvement of young people in rugby, we were interested in a recent piece of news that our colleagues in the Concert Tours Department shared with us this week; one of the choirs travelling with Rayburn Concert Tours this summer has been chosen to officially welcome the All Blacks at a ceremony in London before the start of the World Cup. We admit to being a little bit jealous – who wouldn’t love the chance to meet the All Blacks?
The choir of St Angela’s Ursuline School, an all-girls school in the London Borough of Newham, competed against more than 100 choirs to win this opportunity, organised by the Youth Sport Trust. One member of the choir, Ciara Gay, told us why this experience will mean so much:
“I am a passionate rugby fan and I watch many games on TV with my cousins, particularly Ireland and, coincidently, New Zealand. I haven’t been to Twickenham or the Aviva Stadium yet but would love to in the near future. This experience will mean a lot as it is my last time performing with the choir that I have been part of for the past 7 years before I go to university. And of course I’m really looking forward to performing for the current champions, the All Blacks, which is a once in a lifetime experience.”
Will Ramos, Head of Music at St Angela’s, admitted that Ciara is more the exception than the rule as not many of the girls at the school were interested in rugby. However, as the start of the World Cup draws closer, he told us that this is changing; proof that the Youth Sport Trust is succeeding in raising the profile of rugby and engaging with young people who might not normally show an interest in the sport. That’s always good news as far as we’re concerned.