100 days to go and counting…..
Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament organisers, England Rugby 2015, have invited 6,000 people to form ‘The Pack’ which will be the volunteer force behind the Rugby World Cup, similar to the Olympics’ ‘Gamesmakers’.
There were over 20,000 applications and 10,000 interviews took place with people keen to be a part of this special year in Rugby.
Dave Spencer has been invited into ‘The Pack’ and has kindly agreed to share his journey to the RWC with NLD. Dave has been heavily involved in rugby for many years and has taken on key roles within his home club Chesterfield and NLD RFU.
Hear all about Dave’s experience below as he talks us through the application process & the first time all 6,000 volunteers got together…
“When I started volunteering in rugby, someone said to me, if you want something doing…..give it to a busy person! Well 20 plus years on here we go again…..
Having checked in with my ”social secretary’ about the concept of volunteering, possibly for the duration of the RWC, I put in an application, offering to work in any role and pretty well anywhere apart from Exeter and Brighton. Chuffed to get an Interview at Manchester Media City in Salford, attendance there back in 2014 was the first reality check of the enormity of the eighth global 15 a side tournament, with a projected 5 billion viewers worldwide in comparison to the 1 million or so who watched the first in 1987.
And then we waited, and waited to the point where I’d honestly thought my skills and experience were too much from an era, when you could get away with anything and everything in rucks and mauls rather than having to have a ‘breakdown’ and we all covered for the 3-4 guys in the team who couldn’t or wouldn’t tackle!
So when the email came offering a role in The Pack I almost missed it, and then picked myself up from the slight disappointment that I was only required to work one day at Manchester for the England v Uruguay group game. Reality again, when checking my diary I realised this was the day immediately after the 8pm evening game between New Zealand and Tonga in Newcastle, for which I already had tickets!! Oh well, looks like October 9th / 10th 2015 will be a pretty hectic couple of rugby days.
Having accepted the role, things moved forward via the online ‘Pack Hub’ where all volunteers have to sign up for three preparation and training days….The ‘Workforce Kick Off’ meeting which took place at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, to be followed for myself by ‘Talking Tactics’ in Leeds during July and then ”Home Turf’ at Manchester in August.
The experience thus far…..well I can confirm the majority of the Pack met at MK (once they’d circumnavigated the New Towns maze of roundabouts) and a great day was had, hosted by John Inverdale and Lawrence Dallaligo, with guest appearances from Jason Leonard, Will Greenwood, Maggie Alphonsi, Serge Betson and Shane Williams. I was particularly impressed by the stadium, one of the 13 to be used for the tournament between September 18th and October 31st…..good luck to anyone who has tickets for any of the three games there. Having travelled down with Val Stevenson from Bakewell Club (Val volunteered at the Olympics as well) I then sat just behind Fred Pell from Chesterfield (pictured), amazing who you bump in to.
What we came away with was an immediate sense of camaraderie and common purpose, a plan to help make this a true celebration of Rugby and the biggest RWC to date. In addition we got a first sight of The Pack uniforms, which we’ll all be wearing…..I can guarantee you won’t miss us in our luminous baseball caps.
So…..so far so good….will hopefully update again in July….in the meantime, must get on with my 30 minute elearning module I need to complete before going to Leeds, and if you haven’t yet put the England fixtures in your diary…..
Friday September 18th vs Fiji @ Twickenham.
Saturday September 26th vs Wales @ Twickenham.
Saturday October 3rd vs Australia @ Twickenham and
Saturday October 10th vs Uruguay @ Manchester City Stadium
Q/F’s weekend of October 17th / 18th.
S/F’s weekend of October 24th / 25th.
Bronze Final Friday October 30th.
RWC 2015 FINAL Saturday October 31st …… hopefully featuring England!
Yours in Rugby