Yesterday, Thursday 30th June, Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) launched an independent evaluation report on the impact so far of its trailblazing Social Impact Programme.

The Sports Consultancy and Substance are delighted to have researched and written the report, which was launched by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, and the Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Jon Dutton. The launch took place at leading community rugby league club, Portico Vine ALRFC, in St Helens.

The report tells the story so far of a Social Impact Programme that has already created change and delivered a positive impact, in spite of significant challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. RLWC2021’s initial investment of £635,000 has catalysed an incredible total of £25.8 million. The investment has enabled a diverse range of programmes to be delivered across facilities, volunteering, mental health, education and international development, all of which have contributed to making a positive difference to the lives of thousands of people across the country.

Download the full Blazing a Trail: The Rugby League World Cup 2021, making a positive social impact – the story so far report here http://www.rlwc2021.com/uploads/docs/SI_InterimReport_Digital.pdf 

Download the summary of Blazing a Trail: The Rugby League World Cup 2021, making a positive social impact – the story so far here http://www.rlwc2021.com/uploads/docs/ExecSI_InterminReport_Digital.pdf

The report is an account of the impact that has been seen to date. Evaluation is ongoing and a Final Report will be published after the tournament in spring 2023.

Kirsten Sibbit-Johnston, Associate Director of Consulting at The Sports Consultancy, commented “we are honoured to be one of RLWC2021’s evaluation partners for its Social Impact Programme. It is exciting to see the power that sport can have in driving meaningful social change and the impact that the Programme has already had in target communities as a result of RLWC2021’s upfront investment and planning. RLWC2021 is reshaping the definition of legacy, generating impact well in advance of the tournament’s inevitable boost.”

Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance, said “We have been delighted to have been involved in evaluating this programme. The story so far shows how much has been achieved despite some major obstacles in the last two years. We are looking forward to researching the programmes as they develop and reporting on the impact they make after the tournament.”