English storm our beaches

UK television viewers got a taste of Perth’s pristine beaches while beach-goers got a peek at the high-profile English rugby team as the Rugby World Cup machine stormed Western Australia’s shores last Friday.

The English team, after attending the official WA World Cup welcome, was invited to be a part of large Northern Hemisphere telco O2’s ‘kick-off’ for its official English supporters’ party at North Cottesloe Beach.

O2, which is also the main sponsor of the English outfit, spared no expense for the event with local estimates putting costs at up to $50,000.

Images beamed to the audience in the UK included team members frolicking in the water while official supporters slurped fruit cocktails and snacked on sushi, mingling on the beach with surfing simulators, Aboriginal dancers and giant, locally created sand sculptures.

After the media and crowds subsided the English team and supporters retired to the North Cottesloe Surf Club rooms for an exclusive evening watching the opening ceremony and match from Sydney and dining on sumptuous local produce.

The entire O2 supporters’ tour, which involves 28 competition winners following the English team around Australia during their World Cup tour, was valued between $250,000 to $500,000.

The Rugby World Cup 2003 is expected to generate $9.4 million in direct spending for WA as the State hosts teams from England, Georgia, Samoa, South Africa and Uruguay, who are playing in a series of pool matches until October 19.


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