World-class athletes will be training and staying - as well as playing - in York after it was announced today that the city has been named as a Rugby League World Cup 2021 team and training base host.
Following the announcement earlier this year that York’s Community Stadium will host a number of high profile games in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2021, York’s bid to have nations from across the world train and stay in the city during the tournament has been successful.
York is one of 16 locations that will host the qualified nations as training and team base camps.
The opening fixtures of RLWC2021 are exactly 900 days away. Qualification is still ongoing across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments and all nations will be confirmed in time for the draw, which takes place on November 27 this year. Following the draw, York will find out which countries the city will be hosting.
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive, commented: “RLWC2021 will see nations from all over the world travel to England to compete for the sport’s most prestigious prize. Today, we are really pleased to be able to announce which towns and cities will be used as hotel and training bases for the competing nations. Each chosen location submitted a compelling bid and our decisions represent our confidence in each of these towns and cities to provide a world-class host experience to the visiting nations in 2021.
“These chosen hosts will play such an important role in welcoming all teams and nations, offering them a base and helping them prepare in the best possible environment so they can perform at their peak on the pitch.”
Mary Weastell, Chief Executive of City of York Council said: “With 900 days to go until the tournament kicks off it is more great news that as well as being able to watch these amazing athletes compete, they will be staying in the city, using our high quality sports and hospitality facilities.
“The Rugby League World Cup includes a great variety of nations across the globe and we are looking forward to welcoming teams in 2021 and giving them a real York welcome.
“We are also looking forward to offering communities the chance to meet and see such amazing athletes up close with a range of engagement events during the tournament.
“We will be working with our partners involved in the bid to make sure the players, coaches and support staff have a great time in our amazing city.”
Keith Morris, Head of Sport/ Chair Active York, University of York, said: "The University of York is looking forward to working with other partners from the city to welcome visitors from across the world.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to work in partnership with other groups to bring a truly international sporting event to the city, helping to inspire and engage with people across communities and increase activity in York."
York St John University’s Chief Operating Officer Rob Hickey said “We are delighted with this announcement that further strengthens York’s role in such a fantastic global sporting event. Rugby is a sport recognised for its culture of inclusivity and as such, one that perfectly aligns with the University’s core values. As a major provider of sporting facilities in the city, we look forward to welcoming the teams and showing them the very best of what York has to offer."
York City Knights Chairman Jon Flatman said: “York City Knights are delighted that our wonderful city has been chosen as an official training base for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
“This will raise the profile of the soon to open York Community Stadium and also the first class and accessible community sports facilities that York has available.
“Having a world class international rugby league team call York their home for the duration of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup provides another excellent opportunity to engage, attract and inspire activity, and we are looking forward to working with our partners to maximise the impact this opportunity will bring to inspire the communities in and around York.”
Sean Bullick, Managing Director, Make It York, said: “It’s a real coup for York to be a host city and brilliant news to hear teams will be training here too. In November, we’ll have world-class athletes making York their home. It will inspire future generations as well as putting York once again firmly on the international stage.”
Amy Martin, CEO of one of York’s partner organisations Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, said: “We are beyond excited to be part of York’s winning city-wide bid to host teams during RLWC 2021. We know our grounds and facilities are in a league of their own and look forward to being involved in what will be an unforgettable experience for all of us, as part of the York offer.”