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With the final whistle now blown on RLWC 2021, Warrington is looking back on a tournament which has been a real game-changer, particularly for disability sport.
The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle event in international rugby league. Like no other form of the game, players compete every four years, with the pride of their nation at the heart of every performance.
The trailblazing World Cup staged a record-breaking 61 matches across three competitions – men’s, women’s and wheelchair – being played simultaneously for the very first time and broadcast live on the BBC. They were held across 18 host towns and cities – meaning more matches in more places than ever before.
There were over 10k people who attended the matches at the Wolves Stadium and hundreds of people watching the matches live at the Golden Square fan zone.
As well as hosting the Papa New Guinea men’s team – and also welcoming Tonga and Samoa to the town – Warrington also made history in October, by hosting the tournament’s first ever Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL) tournament.
From culture, to sports and kids activities, there was something for everyone, to get into the spirit of RLWC2021 and celebrate the role Warrington played in the tournament.
The incredible atmosphere created by all the matches, alongside our fantastic fan zone and first-class cultural events brought our communities together in a huge celebration of the sport.
Highlights from some of the local events we hosted during the tournament included:
Papua New Guinea Community and Civic Welcome Event at the Town Hall and Halliwell Jones Stadium
A family fun activity weekend at Time Square, outside Warrington Market, included arcade-inspired outdoor games, arts and crafts and a dance and theatre performance featuring a 13-foot puppet which wandered the town centre between Time Square and Golden Square.
Birds of Paradise Trail - artists and local community groups came together to celebrate Warrington hosting Papua New Guinea men’s by creating an art trail displaying the Raggiana Bird of Paradise (the national emblem of PNG).
RLWC student exhibition - Warrington Market Students from Priestley College and Warrington & Vale Royal College came together for a joint exhibition to celebrate the Rugby League World Cup, with artworks including painting, drawing, mixed media and collage.
We held a celebratory Host Impact Day full of activity in June to celebrate the important role Warrington had to play in the RLWC2021 on Tuesday 21 June. The day kicked off with a business breakfast at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, where businesses enjoyed a breakfast in the company of rugby league legends Adrian Morley and Jodie Cunningham.
This was followed by walking rugby outside the Town Hall, a schools event at Victoria Park and the RLWC trophies were displayed at Orford Jubilee Hub followed by a visit to Warrington Youth Zone.
The Rugby League World Cup also made a real impact on Warrington when the trophies visited local schools and communities again with tournament mascot 'RugBee', as part of a 48-hour national trophy tour to celebrate 200 days until the tournament kicked off.
There were a programme of RLWC-themed activities across LiveWire’s libraries, throughout the tournament. From poetry workshops, reading group taster sessions, 3D printing, family quizzes to PNG-themed music sessions.
We work closely with partners – in particular the Warrington Wolves Foundation - to make Victoria Park an inclusive, accessible centre of rugby league excellence, so it was no surprise it proved to be the perfect venue for the competition.
We are very proud of our involvement in RLWC2021, and for our role in helping deliver a tournament which will help boost the growth of disability sport in Warrington and further afield.
If the RLWC has got you inspired to get active? We’ve compiled a list of local partner organisations to help you get active:
Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation uses the power of sport to engage people to lead happier and healthier lives. The foundation hosts a range of events from their Wolf Pack and Girls Rugby League for younger ones, to walking rugby and PDRL for adults.
Warrington Youth Zone has more than twenty activities happening every day for young people aged 7–19 and people with additional needs up to 25 years old. Get involved in anything from badminton and boxing to netball and dodgeball for just 50p a visit!
LiveWire has a fantastic range of group fitness classes, with over 350 classes each week including; Body Combat, Body Pump, Zumba, Step, Indoor Cycle, Pilates, Yoga, Circuits, and much more!
If you would like to carry on watching live rugby league matches, you can find out more on the Warrington Wolves website.