Rugby has been shortlisted in VisitEngland’s search to find the country’s Home of Sport.
The search to establish England’s ultimate sporting capital began in June, when VisitEngland asked the public to nominate their top sporting experiences and venues across the country.
Over the following weeks, more than 2,000 submissions flooded in from across the country, and spanned everything from favourite running routes and personal fitness challenges to stadia holding tens of thousands of fans and even choice pubs for watching the action.
Establishing a shortlist was no mean feat – a VisitEngland panel worked through the thousands of claims to select the leading destinations according to their offering of sporting venues and attractions, the breadth of their sporting experiences, diverse and beautiful backdrops, and sporting trivia or claims to fame.
The shortlist of England’s top sporting destinations, announced today (Wednesday September 16), is:
· The people’s choice (most nominations) - Nottingham
· Sporting playground - Yorkshire
· Biggest claim to fame – Rugby
· Best sporting attractions - Manchester
· Quirkiest sports – Gloucestershire
· Iconic venues and events - London
Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for culture and for the economy, said: “As the only town to have given its name to a global sport it is no surprise that Rugby has been nominated as Visit England’s Home of Sport. I am thrilled to see our town and borough shortlisted alongside some of England’s great cities.
“As the Rugby World Cup gets underway the eyes of the world are on us, and we are ready to give all our visitors a warm welcome to the Proud Home and birthplace of the game.”
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said: “Shortlisting six destinations from a pool of 2,000 nominations was a tough job. Between them, these destinations showcase England’s diversity as a sporting country.
“Poignantly, in the year that England hosts the Rugby World Cup, the Warwickshire town of Rugby received a plethora of nominations. A number of fascinating claims to fame were unearthed in round one of the campaign, from the invention of the sport at Rugby School nearly 200 years ago to its lesser-known contributions such as the English white kit and the term ‘caps’.
“Voting goes live today, and we are excited to see which of our worthy shortlist the public crowns the country’s ultimate Home of Sport.”
Read more about the six shortlisted destinations at www.englandhomeofsport.com where you can vote for your favourite.
Voting will close on 19 October, and England’s Home of Sport will be announced on 23 October 2015.