This audio clip began with the first meeting of the Cardiff Business Club for the season. The unidentified male speaker gives a short introduction as to why they were there and gives an overview of the importance of rugby and community. He talks about the launch a few weeks earlier at Cardiff Bay, and how happy he was that so many new people were coming to see what they were all about. Lots of new members, Vice President and corporate members. I was not lost, even though I was straight into the clip with no context, and it captured my attention from the outset.
Towards the beginning of the clip, this quote stuck with me: ‘A great cross section of Welsh businesses, members of the Welsh government, people from sports, education, media and all kinds of fields of Welsh life’ – this is a poignant quote that shows how deeply the Rugby Society is entrenched in the community side of things. The man talks about how it is so important to attract people from all walks of life together. It shows that community is not just the people closest to you, but comes from the places you would least expect.
The speaker is at the top of the world of rugby, whilst the Rugby World Cup was occurring during the time of this recording, 2015. He mentions how productivity of Welsh spirit and patriotism has increased in businesses around the Wales matches, which in turn boosts morale. Cardiff embraced the spirit of the rugby tournament, which further promotes a sense of Welsh pride. He then introduces the new sponsor of the club, Catherine Finn, who takes the mic to talk a bit before introducing the speaker for the event. She took over from Matthew Hammond as the member of the PWC (Price Water House Coopers) for Wales and the West Country.
She refers to a slide in the room, where she talks about Brett Gosper, who went from an amateur rugby player in the days before rugby became a professional sports career, to a professional player who drove for the commercial success of rugby. This commercial success is tied to the World Cup and to Wales as a home nation, too.
Then, Brett Gosper takes over. He takes up the majority of the audio recording, documenting the objectives of World Rugby, and the opportunities offered by events such as the World Cup and the Olympic Games. He continues, talking about the success of rugby in the entertainment sector, particularly in the uptake of the sport by women and children in a male dominated sport. He expands on Catherine’s earlier point about rugby’s growth in commercial markets and the ambition to inspire new audiences. Advertisement via social media greatly helped the campaign for the Rugby Union, particularly around the Olympics, and he spent a while expanding on that point. He continued, going into detail about how it was important that rugby had a long-term investment strategy, through digital and social engagement. Then, he expanded on how player welfare is extremely important in rugby moving from being a game regulator, as Gosper calls it, to a game promoter.
After that, the floor opens up to a Q&A session – the topics include investment to accession states of the EU in terms of rugby, which was very interesting to learn about, comparisons between football and rugby federations, i.e. World Rugby and FIFA, and engagement of rugby with the world. He also gave advice to in regards to their children’s sport of choice, as any sport a child wants to pursue is always important. He finished off with answering a question about bringing the flair back into the game.
There was a vote of thanks, and that was the conclusion of the clip. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience and I felt like I was there in the atmosphere of being in an event like that. Especially since the world has been deprived of social events during the pandemic, it was really nice to hear the laughter, the background clinking of glasses and general noises of events such as the one that was happening with this Rugby Union. I can just imagine all the people included in their formal wear, having fun whilst also maintaining and creating new contacts.
This was a lovely second listening and I hope I have done this clip justice. I am enjoying writing these blogs posts, so stick around for the next one, and I will see you soon.
Alice Tucker, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage volunteer