World Rugby and ChildFund launch transformational partnership for Rugby World Cup 2019

  • ChildFund Pass It Back partnership aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged children in Asia
  • Fans can opt-in to donate to the program when purchasing tickets from September 19
  • Partnership forms key element of Rugby World Cup 2019 Impact Beyond legacy program

Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan will play a transformational role in the lives of disadvantaged children across Asia, thanks to a game-changing partnership between World Rugby and ChildFund launched today.

Fans purchasing tickets for Asia's first Rugby World Cup will be able to opt-in and donate ¥750, ¥1,500 or ¥3,000 to the ChildFund Pass It Back program, which delivers an integrated life-skills and non-contact tag rugby curriculum, encouraging children and young people to inspire positive social change and 'pass it back' to their communities. The program includes education in the areas of leadership, problem-solving, gender equality, conflict resolution and life preparation.

Pilot programs in Asia have already reached 6,000 participants with 54 percent being female. World Rugby and ChildFund now aim to involve a further 20,000 children from disadvantaged communities in Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines. Donated funds will also assist children from disaster-affected areas in Japan.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "We awarded the tournament to Japan because we knew that it could be a powerful catalyst for sporting and social change in Asia. As a transformational rugby for good program, ChildFund Pass It Back is the perfect embodiment of that objective and we are excited about the impact rugby can have on thousands of children within the world's most populous and youthful continent.

"Rugby is a sport of character-building values and we have witnessed the solidarity of the rugby community in rallying behind tsunami-hit Kamaishi. I am sure that fans purchasing tickets for Asia's first Rugby World Cup will be generous in supporting rugby programs that will make a real and lasting difference to thousands of disadvantaged children."

ChildFund President Michael Rose added: "This is an exciting opportunity. We believe every child should have the right to play, which is why ChildFund's Pass It Back program was originally established for children in rural and remote communities of Laos and Vietnam. These are children who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality."

The ChildFund partnership forms a key element of World Rugby's wider Impact Beyond program, which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game and to share the spirit and values of rugby with all sections of society.

Impact Beyond runs alongside all major World Rugby events focusing on development, participation, coaching, volunteering and business programs to further support the growth of the game. For Rugby World Cup 2019 the ambitious target of one million new rugby participants was set by World Rugby and thanks to the hard work and collaboration with Asia Rugby and the Japan Rugby Football Union, the program is on track to deliver on its objectives and inspire a new generation of rugby players and fans across Asia.

The next opportunity for fans to donate will be from the opening of the general ticket sales ballot phase on September 19 at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets. Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner Mastercard is offering fans who apply for tickets using their Mastercard the chance to receive a double entry in the ticketing ballot.

With such exceptional demand for tickets, fans are being urged to buy exclusively from official channels to avoid being let down. For more details visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/buy-official.

Visit the ChildFund Pass It Back website at www.childfundpassitback.org for more information about this successful, innovative program, or follow via Twitter @ChildFundPIB, Facebook facebook.com/ChildFundPassItBack/ or Instagram @childfundpassitback for regular updates

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Editors' notes:

About Rugby World Cup: Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan is the ninth edition of rugby's showcase global event and the first in Asia. The world's top 20 national teams will play in 48 matches hosted across 12 match cities for the right to lift the iconic Webb Ellis Cup and be crowned world champions. Rugby World Cup is the sport's financial engine, generating approximately 90 percent of World Rugby's revenues for reinvestment in the global game over the four-year cycle. The record-breaking success of England 2015 is enabling World Rugby to invest £245.8 million in the sport by 2020, eclipsing the previous 2013-16 £201 million investment injection by 22 percent. All the latest news can be found at www.rugbyworldcup.com and via @rugbyworldcup across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About ChildFund: ChildFund is a global alliance of child-focused international development organizations which assists more than 14 million children and their families in more than 60 countries. With a long-standing and trusted presence in many of the world's poorest communities, ChildFund works in partnership with children, their families and local organizations to achieve lasting change, respond to humanitarian emergencies and promote children's rights.

ChildFund implements programs to improve education, healthcare and child protection. It also delivers programs to build the resilience of children and youth, including sport for development - most notably the highly successful ChildFund Pass It Back program.

About ChildFund Pass It Back: ChildFund Pass It Back is an innovative sport for development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win that delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and young people in disadvantaged communities across Asia. With a focus on gender inclusion, more than half of all players and coaches are female. The program's objectives are to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and 'pass it back' to their communities.