Gateshead International Stadium and Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport have been confirmed on the approved list of Team Bases for Rugby World Cup 2015.
England 2015 carried out a series of assessment visits after receiving over 80 applications from across England and Wales. Gateshead International Stadium and Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport will now move through to the next stage of selection which will be team visits.
The assessors were overwhelmed by the quality of the facilities and the warmth of the welcome over the summer whilst making visits. The team are extremely confident that all the bases on the approved list are committed to providing the best possible ‘home from home’ training environment for the teams participating in Rugby World Cup 2015.
Gateshead Council’s cabinet member for culture, Linda Green said “This is fantastic news for Gateshead and a ringing endorsement of our investment in top quality facilities for sport. We have a long-established reputation for hosting major international sporting events and we were previously selected as a pre-games training camp for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Lewis Pendleton, sports academy manager at Gateshead College, said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase Gateshead on the international stage and will give our students access to some of the finest names in world rugby. The quality of our Academy for Sport facilities was a major factor in Gateshead’s successful application and will undoubtedly provide an excellent training base for an international rugby team.”
Team Base Information Guides, providing a snapshot of the facilities available at the base have been distributed to the teams who will be taking part in this global event. They will now look at the bases they wish to visit before submitting their choice of preferred base in March 2014. In total, England 2015 requires up to 50 bases for use during the tournament. Bases on the approved list are not guaranteed to host teams.
Hilton Newcastle Gateshead’s general manager, Martin Robinson, said “We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious sporting event and it's great to see the focus on the North East yet again.”
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “To have Team Bases in Gateshead would be a fantastic opportunity, with the potential to bring international teams and their support staff here for a significant period of time.
“This, alongside Rugby World Cup Games at St James’ Park, will bring important business, economic impact and profile to the area.”