Scotland’s Touch World Cup 2011 is launched today, January 28, with the announcement of Grand Slam winner and Scotland A coach Sean Lineen as the tournament’s official ambassador.
Lineen, the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland A head coach, will be the public figurehead for the tournament being held in Edinburgh in June 2011. The 29-times capped Grand Slam winner helped bring the sport of touch to Scotland in the early 1990s, and it has grown rapidly in popularity and participant numbers since.
Sean Lineen said: “Hosting the Touch World Cup 2011 in Edinburgh is a great opportunity to showcase this fast-growing and dynamic sport and to see its best athletes in action. Touch is an excellent sport for all; it has great skills, it’s excellent for keeping active and fit, it’s fun to play and it has a great social environment around it.”
The quadrennial Touch World Cup is the most prestigious event in the sport's calendar. Next year’s tournament will be the seventh touch world cup and the first ever held in Europe. At least 1,700 competitors from an estimated 25 nations will take part in the five-day event Edinburgh's Peffermill Sports Ground from 22 to 26 June 2011.
The direct economic impact of the event is conservatively estimated to be an additional £1.5 million to the city. The Scottish Touch Association (STA) won the right to hold the Touch World Cup during the 2007 cup in South Africa, and is working with partners EventScotland and City of Edinburgh Council.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “Touch is a rapidly growing sport in Scotland and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people now regularly play in organised competitions around the country. Its popularity here, combined with an unrivalled reputation for hosting major rugby tournaments, will make Scotland a fantastic host for Touch World Cup 2011 and we’re excited to be the first European host for this prestigious event.