Young rugby players from four London boroughs will compete for a prestigious new, inter-borough trophy at Grasshoppers Rugby Football Club on Thursday 1 October, under the watchful eye of the England women’s team legend, Maggie Alphonsi MBE.
As a Proud Host of Rugby World Cup 2015 at Twickenham, Hounslow Council is organising the Heathrow Festival of Rugby, a contact rugby event which pits Year 8 teams from Brent, Ealing, Richmond and Hounslow against each other. The girls’ and boys’ contests, run by the Rugby Football Union and Grasshoppers RFC, is sponsored by Heathrow Airport and will be followed by a mixed six-a-side adults’ tournament.
Maggie Alphonsi – affectionately known as ‘Maggie the Machine’ – is one of four Rugby World Cup 2015 Ambassadors along with Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Jonny Wilkinson. She will join Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council and John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, the competition sponsors, to present the prizes.
Maggie Alphonsi commented: “I’m really excited to be supporting the Heathrow Festival of Rugby. We’ve been working really hard to encourage young people to take up and enjoy rugby so it’s great to see the work that local councils like Hounslow are doing to build a rugby legacy in connection with Rugby World Cup 2015.”
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, explains that there is a serious intent behind the fun: “Like lots of councils, Hounslow has used the Rugby World Cup 2015 to encourage people to become more active and to try rugby in particular. It’s been a great success and we want to keep the momentum going. We hope that the Host Boroughs tournament will grow in future years, providing an opportunity for young people from across the capital to come together to play and learn.”
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to sponsor this great event for London’s next generation of rugby players in an area in Heathrow’s backyard. Hounslow is part of our community and where many Heathrow colleagues live. We will continue to provide opportunities for young Londoners to fulfil their potential.”