Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday welcomed the Webb Ellis Cup (Rugby World Cup) trophy at the state Secretariat here. Bhubaneswar in the third city in which the trophy travelled to after Delhi and Mumbai.
Speaking on the occasion Patnaik said, “It is good to witness the excitement around the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in India. Odisha is the nursery of rugby in India and our players have brought laurels for both the state and the country. We are also the proud host of the Asian U-18 Women’s Rugby Sevens in October. I wish to encourage more kids come forward and play the sport of rugby.”
The Trophy Tour also visited Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) for a Get Into Rugby training session delivered by Rugby India players and coaches in front of the Webb Ellis Cup.
Thousands of enthusiastic staff and students of KISS, which has some state and national rugby players, gave a rousing welcome to the trophy.
The two-year Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour is underway visiting 18 countries aiming to inspire and engage new and existing rugby players and fans. Rugby World Cup takes place every four years and in 2019 will be hosted in Japan – the first tournament to be played in Asia.
The iconic trophy has also visited some of India’s most recognisable and beautiful locations including one of the Seven Wonders of the World the Taj Mahal, one of the best-preserved architectural sites in Delhi, the Red Fort, as well as the famous memorial India Gate.
The Webb Ellis Cup was also pictured at the ancient Konark Sun Temple in Puri today.
The Trophy Tour supports World Rugby’s Impact Beyond Programme which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game.
Project Asia 1 Million, which aims to attract one million new rugby participants by 2020, has already reached over 500,000 people across Asia.