There was a bit of unexpected but certainly interesting and welcome news for my hometown and base of Rugby in the last few days.
The World Rugby Hall of Fame is to be turned into a museum here in the town where the sport was first created back in 1823.
Rugby has long been recognised as the birthplace of rugby football but in my eyes – and many others for that matter, has never fully truly coveted and exploited this unique status. Certainly from a tourism perspective.
Last year’s Rugby World Cup celebrations and £1 million investment by Rugby Borough Council in creating #ProudHome and #ProudBirthplace status for the town finally attempted to do that, with it has to be said varying and limited success at the time.
And with being involved in the travel and tourism industry for over 10 years, I know how much an opportunity has been and is still being wasted!
The World Rugby Hall of Fame attraction – which will be based inside Rugby’s art gallery and museum building in the town centre close to where the game first started at Rugby School, may now go some way to addressing that in terms of building on some sort of legacy going forward.
According to initial reports The World Rugby Hall of Fame will feature footage from World Rugby’s video archive, plus a host of sporting memorabilia will form interactive displays, and celebrate key moments and star players past and present.
Work to create the £1.2m Hall of Fame centre is due to start in July before a scheduled opening later this year.
And when it does open, you can bet I will be there!
In the same way that Stratford-upon-Avon for example has benefited so well over the years with its links to William Shakespeare, perhaps at long last Rugby can finally and truly capitalise on its unique status of being the birthplace of a world famous, worldwide sport.
Only time will tell.
But welcoming the World Rugby Hall of Fame to the birthplace of the game can only be a good thing and a timely if not overdue boost.