The Maynard School choir is one of 20 schools in England and Wales to have been selected to be part of the ceremonies that will officially welcome the teams to Rugby World Cup 2015.
The ceremonies will also include the formal presentation of official Tournament caps and Rugby World Cup 2015 participation medals.
The school was chosen following an application process, led by independent charity Youth Sport Trust, which was open to all schools in England and Wales. With over 100 applications, the standard was very high resulting in a competitive judging process which was carried out by Tournament Organisers, England Rugby 2015, the Youth Sport Trust and the RFU.
The Maynard School is delighted to be welcoming Australia in Bath.
The successful schools include a mixture of state and private schools with both primary and secondary age groups involved. With schools selected from all around England and Wales, the Tournament reach continues to broaden with people across the UK joining to celebrate Rugby in its biggest year.
Managing Director of England Rugby 2015, Stephen Brown, said: “Congratulations to The Maynard School on being selected to be involved in the Welcome Ceremonies for Rugby World Cup 2015. We were really pleased with the response that we got from schools wanting to be involved. The standard of the applications was very high and I would like to thank all schools that took the time to apply. We now have 20 excellent choirs from across England and Wales that will help us to welcome the participating unions to the Tournament and make it a celebration of Rugby. We hope this will provide them with unforgettable memories and give them and the teams a fantastic Tournament experience.”
The choirs vary in size from 18 to 50 pupils and perform in a range of musical styles, including choral and gospel. Each choir has been asked to sing the Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, during the ceremonies that will officially welcome the 20 teams to the Tournament and will be a celebration of Rugby. The Maynard School is delighted to be taking 45 girls, aged 13 - 17, from the Senior Choir, who are in the midst of preparing for this exceptional opportunity.
Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver added: “We are very excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity for schools to be involved in the Welcome Ceremonies for Rugby World Cup 2015.
“We hope that it will impact not only the pupils performing, but the whole school to engage with the Tournament in a way that inspires learning. The Youth Sport Trust is delighted to support and work with The Maynard School and England Rugby 2015 and we look forward to seeing great creativity in the school performances.”
The venues and dates of the ceremonies will be announced in the coming months.
Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director of the RFU added: “Schools across the nation are eagerly looking forward to Rugby World Cup 2015 and it is fantastic to see such a wide range of them playing an active role in the Welcome Ceremonies.
“We are working hard to expose more schools to Rugby Union and its values, encouraging students to watch games, take up the sport and join local clubs. Through our All Schools programme we will have 400 more secondary schools playing Rugby by the time the Tournament starts, over 1,000 have signed up so far to the online schools resource pack linked to the Tournament and there has been a great response from schools to the Festival of Rugby, which will run from June 10 until October 31.”
Angela Blackwell, Director of Music & Performing Arts at The Maynard School, said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that The Maynard choir has been selected amongst such tough competition to welcome the Australian Rugby team at the World Cup Opening Ceremony. We submitted our application earlier this year, together with a video, in which we had to prove our ability to perform under pressure and demonstrate the impact and legacy that this opportunity would have on our school. Having sung for Prince Edward at Powderham Castle and participated in a British Council project with a school from Jerusalem last year, the selection panel was very impressed by our musical credentials.”
“As a school we are committed to 'This Girl Can' – a national campaign developed by Sport England to celebrate active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets. This is a fantastic opportunity for Maynard girls to contribute to high profile global event.”
Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter Lead Councillor for Economy and Culture, commented: “We are delighted that The Maynard School has been chosen to welcome Australia to Bath for Rugby World Cup 2015. This is another endorsement of Exeter and our commitment to delivering a great event, not just in Exeter but in Bath too. ”