Eastbourne Bandstand has been chosen to host the Rugby World Cup 2015 Welcome Ceremony for the South African rugby team on September 13.
The bandstand joins 16 other landmark venues across England and Wales which have been chosen to host the ceremonies for the world’s best 20 teams.
The ceremony will be a celebration of the team’s achievements and will include team friends and family as well as the local community.
All of the ceremonies will be an official welcome to England and Wales for the teams featuring their presentation of Tournament Caps and Rugby World Cup 2015 Participation Medals.
Taking place in venues including Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, the Welcome Ceremonies will broaden the reach of the tournament.
Eastbourne Borough Council Senior Head of Tourism & Enterprise Phil Evans said, “We’re delighted to have been selected to host this very exciting ceremony and play a part in England’s welcome to the world’s most elite Rugby players.
“The bandstand is an iconic building providing a unique English setting in which to welcome South Africa ahead of their first game on September 19.
“We’re passionate about sport in Eastbourne and see this as an opportunity to inspire visitors and the community to utilise our beautiful surroundings and excellent facilities to engage in sport.”
Managing director of England Rugby 2015 Steve Brown said, “We are delighted to have secured Eastbourne’s Bandstand to host the Welcome Ceremony for South Africa.
“These landmark locations from across England and Wales broaden the reach of the tournament and will be great settings for us to welcome the players and management.
“These events will be a celebration of the team’s achievements, alongside a warm local welcome as the 20 best teams arrive for Rugby World Cup 2015.”
Each ceremony will feature a performance of the official Rugby World Cup anthem World in Union by school choirs which were selected following a selection process, led by leading independent charity Youth Sport Trust, and Eastbourne College Choir were selected to sing the anthem at the Bandstand to welcome South Africa.
Each ceremony will have four cap and medal Bearers which will be 16 to 24 year olds representing the legacy of Rugby World Cup 2015.
They are selected from local clubs and educational institutions and include players, ‘Young Rugby Ambassadors’ and students from schools that are part of the RFU’s ‘All Schools’ programme.
RFU rugby development director Steve Grainger said, “It is great that these Welcome Ceremonies are involving people who represent our ongoing legacy work.
“We have Medal Bearers from not only the ‘All Schools’ programme, but also ‘Young Rugby Ambassadors’ and young club players from the 16 to 24 age group.
“There will also be 1,000 people representing grassroots rugby clubs invited to attend the ceremonies, which shows the strength of connection between all levels of the game.”
For further information go to www.visiteasbourne.com/rugby.
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