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England Touch joins forces with Nottingham Rugby to promote Touch World Cup in the East Midlands

With two months to go until the biggest ever Touch World Cup, the England Touch Association (ETA) has partnered with Championship Rugby club, Nottingham Rugby, to both promote the event within the East Midlands and deliver exciting community projects at Highfields Sports Complex.

As the build-up to Touch World Cup (TWC) 2024 continues to accelerate, the ETA’s management has identified Nottingham Rugby as a key partner to raise awareness of the event within the city as well as help ensure a legacy which can positively impact both Touch and oval ball sport in general.

While the ETA has resources in place for both marketing/communications and community engagement, the sheer scale of TWC 2024 - 189 teams from 39 nations - is such that additional support is required.

This partnership will give the ETA access to local marketing support and Nottingham Rugby’s communications channels, along with access to personnel to help deliver a range of community events planned to run concurrently with the TWC at Highfields Sports Complex.

Touch is not a new sport for Nottingham Rugby and its players and staff. Previous staff members and players have participated in the local Nottingham Touch leagues before, and two of the current playing squad have played at a high level, emulating the many professional players in New Zealand and Australia who honed their skills on a Touch pitch.

Current player Jamie Annand, who played Touch for the Middle East as a junior and has been helping deliver Touch within Nottingham, says: “Competing for the Middle East in Touch from U15’s all the way to U18’s really accelerated my skill set development - something I have found invaluable as a fly half in Rugby Union!

“I have so many special memories competing at international Touch tournaments, especially being able to travel to, and compete against, different countries. It’s such an enjoyable game that can be played at all levels and age groups. I’d encourage anyone interested in every code of rugby to give it a go, and certainly watch the best in the world go head-to-head at the upcoming Touch World Cup in Nottingham!”

Jack Dickinson, who played for the local Touch club, Nottingham Touch, prior to joining Nottingham Rugby added: “Touch has been great for my personal development, playing in the off season has helped with my fitness and continue to develop my handling and decision making. 

“Touch allows you to get your hands on the ball and test your skills under pressure as well as having fun too.”

Nottingham is a leading region within the England Touch community, with one of the country’s leading clubs, both of the city’s Universities established in the BUCS University Touch Championships - Nottingham Trent lifting the 2024 title - and a thriving social league scene.

ETA CEO, Chris Simon, who is also a Board Director at Nottingham Rugby, believes the partnership will help promote the event to the local rugby-loving community of Nottingham and the surrounding area.

“Everyone in the ETA is keen to make the most of hosting the World Cup and showcasing the sport of Touch to the people of Nottingham and the surrounding area,” he said.

“So what better way than partnering with one of the oldest professional rugby clubs in England? Having worked as part of the Nottingham Rugby board for many years and getting to know Ollie Brewill the marketing lead over the last year or so, I know this partnership will help us promote the event and the wider links between Touch and contact rugby.”

The Touch World Cup comes to Nottingham between 15 and 21 July 2024 with 189 teams from 39 nations playing almost 1,000 matches being held at the University of Nottingham Highfields and Riverside Sports Complexes. You can find out more by visiting the event pages at the England Touch website.

Photo shows (from left to right), Nottingham Rugby and Nottingham Touch player Jack Dickinson, England Touch High Performance Director Ben Powell, Nottingham Rugby Marketing and Media Officer Ollie Brewill, England Touch CEO Chris Simon and Nottingham Rugby Community Manager Michael Green.

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