RFU: English rugby on the up
June 22, 2012
It's all smiles at the RFU after the findings of the Sport England survey © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union has announced that 26,000 more people are playing the game than last year.
A survey carried out by Sport England has reported that participation has increased by 170,300 to 196,300 over the past 12 months. The biggest increase occurred in the 16+ education sector which was up by 1.78% while the age group of 20-24 increased by 1.4%.
The sport experienced a decline in participation in the two years to April 2011 but the RFU development director Steve Grainger is delighted with the results of the survey.
"The figures from the survey are encouraging and show that the focused effort we've put on supporting our clubs and growing the game around them over the last 12 months is paying dividends," Grainger said. "I'm delighted to see the growth in numbers is attributed in no small part to the 15-a-side game and the future looks bright because we're also looking to develop sevens and touch rugby.
"I have to inject a note of caution, as we're measuring against a previous year's figures that included a severe winter in 2010-11. But we have had a good last 12 months and now our goal is to sustain that effort in the summer months with our big focus on touch rugby, then to keep on growing in the next three seasons up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup."
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