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Rugby League World Cup hidden ball found on UCLan campus

24 July 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Competition captures imagination of local residents

Fans of two of the region’s rival rugby league clubs have snapped up two free tickets to the Rugby League World Cup 2013 (RLWC2013) thanks to a competition run by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston City Council and the tournament’s organisers.

Jamie Jackson and friend Chris Warren, both St Helens and Wigan Warriors fans respectively, were the lucky winners of the #findourballs competition which marks 100 days until the start of the tournament and gives fans the opportunity to win tickets to their respective local RLWC2013 matches.

UCLan and Preston City Council teamed up to hide one of 100 specially-branded RLWC2013 balls in Preston, using social media to provide hints and clues as to where fans can find their ticket winning ball.

Jamie and Chris, who both play for their local club Bamber Bridge ARLFC, hunted down the sought after prize at the Final Whistle Cafe at UCLan Sports Arena. The duo almost missed out on the winning ball after Jamie’s phone lost its battery power during his social media sleuthing.

“This is the biggest year in the history of rugby league and we’re delighted to be bringing the Irish team to Preston and hosting them at our Sports Arena.”

Jamie said: “Chris came to the rescue and between us we found the prize. We’ve already got tickets to see England play Australia so we may use these free ones for the England versus Ireland game or maybe Australia versus New Zealand.

“We’re both really looking forward to the tournament and think England have a good chance of doing well against the southern hemisphere teams.”

UCLan and Preston City Council also hid three official Wigan Warriors rugby balls around the city that were signed by the entire Warriors squad. One was won by Dave Dawson at West View Climbing and Leisure Centre, Lesley Woodruff found another one at the Marriott Hotel and Leisure Club while one that was hidden in Avenham Park was never picked up.

The UCLan Sports Arena will host the Irish squad ahead of the RLWC2013. The University beat off tough competition to be one of only two universities chosen as a host venue for the 14 nation tournament that will be held in England and Wales in 2013.

Jan Peace, Manager at UCLan Sports Arena, said: “This is the biggest year in the history of rugby league and we’re delighted to be bringing the Irish team to Preston and hosting them at our Sports Arena. The competition has proved to be a great success and shows how much the city is behind the World Cup.”