Growing the game in the north east
England Touch Chair Mark Croston and CEO Chris Simon visited Kingston Park, home of Newcastle Rugby, last week to discuss how the Association can work more closely with the north east’s leading professional oval ball sports club.
Newcastle Rugby is home to both Thunder (League) and Falcons (Union) and runs an extensive community programme through its charity, The Newcastle Rugby Foundation, which covers both codes.
Newcastle Rugby’s Executive Director Mick Hogan joined the pair for a discussion about the future of oval ball sports with strategic sports agency Global 13.
Simon believes there are lots of reasons why working together is appealing to the national governing body for Touch.
“Newcastle is the leading rugby brand in the north east and the city has a thriving sporting community,” he says. “Touch has been established there for some time, with several local clubs and both Durham and Northumbria universities playing in various National Touch Series tournaments.
“League, Union and Touch are already connected, but we feel there is a bigger opportunity to work together to grow the game through increasing participation and providing more environments in which people can play.
“We have ambitious plans to grow Touch in schools, universities, clubs and workplaces and are keen to work with those that already have a link into those environments. At the same time, we can provide the support to develop the game of Touch at venues through the introduction of new leagues and by developing events.”