Rugby League No10 Reception Speech

Rugby League No10 Reception Speech

Hello, everyone, and many thanks for having me here. I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Elmbridge Eagles for their outstanding performance. I don’t believe something like this has ever occurred in No. 10, and I’m confident you can all walk home knowing that you broke some records.
We’ve had a fantastic year of major athletic events in this nation, beginning with the Women’s EUROs, followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and concluding with the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool.
But as a patriotic northerner who grew up not far from the Warrington Wolves, I am especially thrilled to see the Rugby League World Cup completing that list.
On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend a match between England and Canada. They are unable to attend today since they are preparing for their next game.
As previously stated, though, I observed them on Saturday and can attest that they were incredibly terrible.
Such a physical game it was.
But this is precisely what makes Rugby League so exciting, and why its followers are among the most devoted in existence.
Seeing places where this sport was created and where it grew……areas where rugby league is the lifeblood of the local community……seeing these places now host matches at the summit of the international game has been phenomenal.
It has been a fantastic event thus far, and we still have next weekend’s finals in Manchester to look forward to.
And it goes without saying that organizing this type of event demands a tremendous amount of effort and commitment – especially when a worldwide pandemic gets in the way. This resulted in several delays and complications.
But this room is filled with individuals who overcame all of those obstacles and finally made this event possible…
…from social impact partners to tournament ambassadors to the actual participants.
You have not merely organized a large international competition. You have produced an event that has been truly revolutionary.
Men’s, women’s, and wheelchair tournaments have all been held at the same time for the first time ever……all participants have received equal participation fees……and for the first time ever, both women’s and wheelchair tournament champions will earn prize money…
All of these factors have conveyed a clear message around the globe that rugby league is a sport for everyone.
These kind of signals are crucial. Visibility is crucial. Especially for children and anyone who may be considering taking up the activity but believe it is not for them.
However, because of your efforts, people will be able to turn on the BBC and see for themselves that it is.
That is all while the tournament is in progress.
Of course, there is also the legacy.
The final factor that makes this tournament revolutionary is that we haven’t waited for the event to end to begin establishing its legacy.
In reality, we’ve reversed the situation.
Through its social impact project, this tournament had already committed a major portion of the government’s £30 million funding package on grassroots sports in the lead-up to the event.
It accomplished it through partnerships with other organizations, many of which are present today…
…and this initiative has already sponsored the renovation of dozens of clubhouses, locker rooms, and artificial fields, in addition to a variety of equipment, a mental fitness program, international development, and a special volunteer scheme.
And it was prior to the scoring of a single try.
It is a tremendous accomplishment and proof that an event like this is about so much more than sports.
It’s about unifying communities……about it’s building a true sense of pride in the towns and cities that host the games……and most importantly, it offers us all something to feel good about – something we don’t often receive from other things.
That is what makes sport so potent, and you all contributed to that.
Therefore, thank you, and I hope you have a good time celebrating your accomplishments this afternoon.

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