Rugby League World Cup 2021 partners with Libraries Connected

Libraries Connected partnered with Rugby League World Cup 2021 to deliver a programme of arts activities and events as part of the tournament’s Cultural Festival.

With more than 593 different libraries involved across 34 authorities in the north of England, the events kickstarted on 26 September 2022, and ran for the duration of the tournament and beyond.

Libraries offered an exciting programme of events including art, designing and decorating rugby balls, creative writing, dancing where Bollywood meets Haka, panel events with rugby experts, plays, poetry and information packs on Rugby League World Cup events. Workshops offered something for everyone young and old, bridging the gap between arts, culture and sport (download the evaluation flyer below).

The Power of Connecting is one of three elements in the Rugby League World Cup Cultural Festival, funded by Arts Council England. Libraries are in the heart of every community and ideally placed to support this element.

Rugby League World Cup 2021 Social Impact Director, Tracy Power, said: 

“Libraries act as a real hub for local communities, so they offer the perfect setting for bringing together sport and the arts, sparking imagination and inspiring curiosity. The programme of events provides a real range for people of all ages to get involved with - whether you’re into crafting or prefer to express yourself through dance.

“We’d like to thank Libraries Connected for all their support on this strand of the Cultural Festival, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the positive impact this programme will have within communities.”

Michelle Alford BEM, Chair of Libraries Connected Universal Culture Offer Group , said: 

“We’re proud to be partnering with Rugby League World Cup 2021. The theme of the tournament – The Power of Together – resonates with Libraries Connected and the public libraries that form our network, who work together on all manner of developments and projects to increase opportunities for communities. We are especially pleased to be part of the Cultural Festival that celebrates the first time the three tournaments – Wheelchair, Men’s and Women’s – are being held simultaneously which demonstrates equality of access, a value which public libraries are proud to share.”

For more information about the Rugby League World Cup Cultural Festival, visit

To learn about how reading, learning and libraries cross over with sport, watch these poems by Tony Walsh.


Rugby League World Cup 2021 Evaluation Flyer

This flyer celebrates all the great things libraries did to support RLWC 21 demonstraiting the great work libraries do in the local community and how working across regions can add benefits.