World Rugby and ChildFund, the principal charity partner of the Rugby World Cup 2019, have announced that £2m has been donated to the charity’s Pass It Back programme.
Much of the funds were raised through the opt-in donation function that fans used when purchasing World Cup tickets for matches in Japan, and World Rugby says that donations were up 50% from the 2015 tournament.
World Rugby says the pledge figure of £2m also includes donations from online shoppers at the Official Rugby World Cup 2019 online shop as well as the support provided by the tournament’s worldwide partners and individual donors from around the world. Part of that figure, meanwhile, will also be pledged to help with future emergency-relief efforts in disaster affected areas of Japan.
Brett Gosper, CEO, World Rugby said: "World Rugby, together with ChildFund, believe in the power of sport to change children’s lives, and this demonstration of support shows that our global rugby family holds the same values.
"This extraordinary display of solidarity and generosity means that the level of pledged charitable funds for this year’s Rugby World Cup will surpass any tournament in history.
"Most importantly, it means that Rugby World Cup 2019 will leave a lasting and important legacy for vulnerable children living in Asia’s developing communities."
Nigel Spence CEO, ChildFund said: "We are overwhelmed by this wonderful demonstration of support from the global rugby family. To know that thousands of people around the world believe in every child’s right to play, learn and grow is very powerful.
"With this support, we can reach more marginalised children in Asia – girls, children from developing communities, and young people living in rural and remote areas who have never had the opportunity to take part in organised sport before."