Celebrating 200 years of Rugby Football with Sporting Heritage

We were proud to receive a Sporting Heritage Community Grant to create a short film celebrating grassroots Rugby teams, in the 200th year of the game that shares our town’s name.

Manwearing red jumper smiling whilst sitting in the stands at Old Laurentians Rugby Club, with the crest behind him. The chairs behind him are green and there are trees visible in the background.

David Eales from Old Laurentians RFC shares stories of his 62 years with the club.

2023 marks the two hundredth year of Rugby Football, born in the small market town of Rugby in 1823. To celebrate this landmark in our town’s sporting heritage, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum commissioned a short film celebrating what Rugby means to our sporting communities.

The film launched in the foyer of the Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 30th September to celebrate Sporting Heritage Day. It stayed for two weeks, coinciding with an exhibition celebrating the bicentenary by Rugby School, where William Ellis first famously picked up the ball and ran, and the launch of our Exhibition ‘A history of Rugby in 50 Objects’, on Saturday 7th October.

Man standing in front of Rugby Pitch on a sunny day wearing a polo shirt featuring the crest of St Andrews Rugby Football Club. Players can be seen in the distance warming up before the game.

Alan Parish, coaching co-ordinator at St Andrews RFC, features in the film

The film interacts with two historical local clubs, Old Laurentians and St Andrews Rugby Football Clubs, founded in 1919 and 1929 respectively. It features special memories, generations of tradition, friendships made, opportunities created, and an overwhelming shared passion for continuing to advocate for the importance of community rugby at local level.

Six women play Rugby in coloured vests at night

The Old Laurentians’ Women’s Rugby Team training session

Exploring men’s and women’s teams and walking Rugby, the film exemplifies the importance of creating accessible and inclusive opportunities for all to be involved in sporting activities now, and for the next 200 years.

Over 350 people participated in our Sporting Heritage celebrations in the Art Gallery and Museum and our short film has been viewed by almost 500 people online already.

Watch the film, 200 Years Of The Game

We hope you enjoy the film, and please do share your thoughts about it on our website: www.ragm.co.uk/rugbyfootball

All images courtesy of Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

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