rio rugby

The global rugby family has joined the international sporting community in celebrating #OlympicDay as excitement builds ahead of rugby sevens’ Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016

With 43 days to go until the Games, preparations are on track for very special and successful rugby sevens events and World Rugby has been leading the #OlympicDay celebrations across the rugby family as players and fans alike express their excitement.

With a record number of one million children getting into rugby in 2015, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will provide a golden opportunity for rugby to reach, engage and inspire new participants and fans to get active and have fun through rugby.

To mark Olympic Day, World Rugby has launched its This is Rugby Sevens educational video and updated Rugby Builds Character videos in four languages to share with and engage and inspire the global rugby family.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Sport is about bringing people together, having fun and getting active. It has the power to drive social change through its strong values and today we join our friends from around the world in celebration of sport.

“Olympic inclusion is already proving to be a game-changer for our sport as a catalyst for growth and we have no doubt Rio 2016 will captivate and inspire new audiences and participants through the dynamic, exciting and fan-focused discipline of rugby sevens.”

Rugby’s road to Rio – a 92-year journey – is entering the final straight. Last weekend, Spain claimed the 12th and final available place in the men’s competition in dramatic circumstances, defeating top seeds Samoa in the last play of the final, while the remaining women’s qualifier will be determined in Dublin, Ireland, this weekend where 16 teams will compete to book their place on sport’s biggest stage.

Lapasset continued: “As we near the Olympic Games, World Rugby is anticipating very exciting, very competitive and very successful men’s and women’s events. The stage is set for a vibrant and global celebration of our sport and its character-building values. The teams are ready. The rugby world is ready. All roads lead to Rio.”

On Olympic Day, rugby stars from around the globe have been spreading the word on social media and expressing their excitement ahead of Rio 2016.


New Delhi, June 23, 2016 – Laureus Sport for Good and BT, one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, have teamed up to use football as a positive force for change among some of India’s most disadvantaged youth.


The funding, from BT charitable initiative The Supporters Club which funnels money from its BT Sport customers in the UK, will be implemented within the Slum Soccer project with the help of Laureus Sport for Good over the next two years


Using an innovative football-based curriculum, Slum Soccer will work in partnership with 15 state schools in Chennai to engage 1,500 children in lessons and activities that will equip them to be leaders of their communities and role models for their peers both on and off the pitch.


The aim of Slum Soccer is to foster sustainable development within otherwise marginalised populations of India. Working in areas of homelessness and disadvantage, Slum Soccer uses football to connect individuals, teach life skills and empower youngsters to work towards improving their overall quality of life.


This is the latest sporting charitable project backed by BT in the country. BT — the global communications player which has fast-growing operations in India — has previously backed the Amos Trust (which support hundreds of children living in and around the railway station in Chennai, providing access to healthcare and education), and, the British Council which runs the “Kolkata Goalz” in partnership with the English Premier League, using football to develop a brighter future for young people.


Laureus Academy Member and former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev welcomed the partnership. He said: “I am delighted that BT Supporters Club will be helping Laureus Sport for Good to support more programmes improving the lives of young people in India. Slum Soccer is an innovative project achieving real impact, and we are thrilled to be working with them.


“I am proud of what Laureus Sport for Good and our partners have achieved in this country over our history of working here, but we recognise there is the opportunity and need to do so much more in India, and we will be striving to make that happen. Partners such as BT Sport not only help us to do that work, but their credibility and strength add weight to our belief in the power of sport.As Nelson Mandela said, sport has the power to change the world. It has changed mine and hope that it changes the lives of many more youths around the world.”




Sumit Mitra, Managing Director, Central Business Services, BT, said: “At BT, we believe in the power of communications to make a better world. By supporting good causes with our time, technology and expertise, we’re helping to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. India has always been a strategic country for BT thanks to availability of skills, flexibility and quality of work of employees. As we are growing our operations in India, we are delighted to collaborate with Laureus Sport for Good and Slum Soccer and be involved in a project that will help 1,500 children to build personal skills.”


Slum Soccer CEO Dr. Abhijeet Barse said, “The support from Laureus Sport for Good and BT will allow us to make a lasting impact in 1500 children’s lives. Their backing will enable Slum Soccer to make end-to-end investments in its Edu-Kick program aimed to educate through the medium of football. We have made improvements in infrastructure, outreach, training, and implementation with the support from our partners. With all Edu-Kick trainers being previous participants of the same program, we believe that a virtuous circle of sustainability has been set in motion.


Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to tackleviolence, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by young people around the world.