Milton Keynes Dons and Milton Keynes Council have submitted a joint bid to be a Team Base for Rugby World Cup 2015.
In recent weeks the Football Club unveiled their ambitions for the National Bowl in Milton Keynes - which will see MK Dons set up a training ground alongside badminton, cycling and summer concerts – and a large focus was placed on securing a Team Base for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup 2015.
The Dons’ home Stadium MK has already been selected as a Host Venue for the Tournament in two years time and now the Club have applied for the Milton Keynes Bowl, should their own bid to Milton Keynes Council be successful, to be used as one of 50 Team Base Camps in England and Wales.
MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman said: “While we know Rugby World Cup 2015 is certainly coming to town, I think there is a great importance on this city to secure Milton Keynes Bowl as a Team Base for one of the 20 countries who will be participating in this fantastic Tournament.
“If we were able to host a team for the duration of their involvement in the Tournament there would be a significant economic and sporting impact on the whole of Milton Keynes. It would be another opportunity to forge the links between grassroots and international sport and a chance for young and old to engage with the sport. Rugby World Cup 2015 would become part of our everyday life.
“Obviously our current proposal to utilise the Bowl to its true potential is paramount to the bid for a Team Base Camp and I hope we can continue to gather support to ensure we can deliver a world class training facility which would leave a legacy of Rugby World Cup 2015.”
The bid from MK Dons is one of 80 to have been received by England Rugby 2015 in their search for Team Base Camps. Team Bases will play a key role within Rugby World Cup 2015; hosting the 20 competing teams and taking the Tournament to local communities across the country.
A Team Base will consist of five component parts including; an outdoor and indoor training facility, hotel, swimming pool and gym. England Rugby 2015 will identify up to 50 Team Bases across the country, providing the 20 competing teams with a variety of Team Base locations.
With over 80 applications received from a wide range of rugby clubs, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and established training complexes, England Rugby 2015 is now evaluating all applications and conducting detailed site visits. With clear Team Base criteria, and an ambition to identify the highest quality facilities to ensure optimum Tournament training locations, England
Rugby 2015 is determined to set new standards for Team Bases.
Team Base locations will range from; close proximity to a particular match venue, centrally located between match venues, or outside of a Host City to provide a different training environment away from the hub of Tournament activity. With applications received from facilities in more than 30 English counties and within Wales, there is a fantastic opportunity to bring Rugby World Cup to all corners of the country and make this a truly regional event.
Debbie Jevans, England Rugby 2015 CEO, commented: “Team Bases will play a pivotal role in the Tournament and we are delighted to see such a strong response rate to the search and selection programme. We want to identify high quality facilities across the country to ensure the teams have the best possible platform to compete at Rugby World Cup 2015. As an organising committee we are fully committed to meeting the needs of all competing players, ensuring that we deliver to the best possible standards.
“With applications received from schools, universities, colleges, rugby clubs and local authorities from over 30 English counties and within Wales, we can already see the fantastic regional engagement opportunities Team Bases will provide – we want to take the teams, the Tournament and the Game of Rugby as far and wide as possible in 2015 so we are really encouraged by the response.”
Bernard Lapasset, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman, added: “The strong interest from parties interested in becoming a Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base reflects the enormous prestige of the Rugby World Cup brand and an event that is set to capture the hearts and minds of people the length and breadth of the nation and beyond.”
“While the match venues are the stages on which the 20 participating nations will showcase the sport and character-building values, the Team Bases will deliver the important platform to ensure all our players are ready to perform to their full potential. I am delighted that this submission reflects the superb sporting facilities in England and Wales, but also the depth and warmth of the welcome that the teams will receive.”
. To respond to the Council's consultation email: click here
To view MK Dons' plans for the Bowl firstname.lastname@example.org