Giant World Cup display will show ‘Rugby’s Got Balls’

Members of Year 5 & 6 Student Council with Laura Wheeler, Leanne Gilroy & Ann Crearie
Members of Year 5 & 6 Student Council with Laura Wheeler, Leanne Gilroy & Ann Crearie

Great balls of fibreglass – not fire – will take pride of place celebrating the town’s connections with the game and the Rugby World Cup.

Five of the rugby-style balls –measuring 6ft by 4ft – will take root in the town centre during the run-up to the competition and during it.

It’s trying to get people in Rugby involved in an artistic and fun way with the Rugby World Cup

Ann Crearie

The balls will be mounted on sturdy concrete bases and the total weight of each one will be between 300-500 kilos.

The community arts project has been commissioned by Rugby Borough Council.

And more than 2,000 primary schoolchildren in the Rugby area will have their finger prints on two of the balls, as well as designs from schools.

The arts installation project, called Rugby’s Got Balls, is being carried out by Kate Thomas, Leanne Gilroy and Ann Crearie, who met on an arts foundation course at Rugby College 10 years ago.

They kept in touch and formed the arts collective kookooshaboo, a not-for-profit company, and the studio is in Pinders Lane.

One ball will have community designs on it, one with 
designs by Rugby College and one designed by kookooshaboo.

Ann said: “It’s trying to get people in Rugby involved in an artistic and fun way with the Rugby World Cup. They will be very striking.

“The balls are very heavy and will be put in place by forklift trucks. Nobody will be able to lift them up.

“We asked every primary school in Rugby to take part and eight came up with designs to go on the balls, which are being chosen.

“The designs that some of the children have done include drawings from their home or of their pet – it’s things about Rugby which they like.”

One of the schools to take part was Hillmorton Primary, where more than 200 pupils took part in shaping their design.

Deputy head Craig McKee said: “I think it really illustrates the history of the game and its connection to the town of Rugby. The children had great fun doing it – especially the fingerprints. They really liked the idea that a piece of them will be on one of the balls in the town.”