Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete or consecutively, with one winner; some sports allow a "tie" or "draw". A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs. Sport is recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports.
However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, draughts, Go and xiangqi, limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports. Sport is governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be crossing a line first, it can be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression. Records of performance are kept, for popular sports, this information may be announced or reported in sport news. Sport is a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sport drawing large crowds to sport venues, reaching wider audiences through broadcasting.
Sport betting is in some cases regulated, in some cases is central to the sport. According to A. T. Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to $620 billion as of 2013; the world's most accessible and practised sport is running, while association football is its most popular spectator sport. The word "sport" comes from the Old French desport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining". Other meanings include. Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation; the singular term "sport" is used in most English dialects to describe the overall concept, with "sports" used to describe multiple activities. American English uses "sports" for both terms; the precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by SportAccord, the association for all the largest international sports federations, is therefore the de facto representative of international sport.
SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should: have an element of competition be in no way harmful to any living creature not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier not rely on any "luck" element designed into the sport. They recognise that sport can be physical mind, predominantly motorised co-ordination, or animal-supported; the inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports. Whilst SportAccord recognises a small number of mind sports, it is not open to admitting any further mind sports. There has been an increase in the application of the term "sport" to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as video games called esports due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not recognised by mainstream sports organisations. According to Council of Europe, European Sports Charter, article 2.i, "'Sport' means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels."
There are opposing views on the necessity of competition as a defining element of a sport, with all professional sport involving competition, governing bodies requiring competition as a prerequisite of recognition by the International Olympic Committee or SportAccord. Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the Council of Eu
Middlesex Hospital was a teaching hospital located in the Fitzrovia area of London, England. First opened as the Middlesex Infirmary in 1745 on Windmill Street, it was moved in 1757 to Mortimer Street where it remained until it was closed in 2005, its staff and services were transferred to various sites within the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust. The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, with a history dating back to 1746, merged with the medical school of University College London in 1987; the first Middlesex Hospital, named after the county of Middlesex, opened as the Middlesex Infirmary in Windmill Street in 1745. The infirmary started with 15 beds to provide medical treatment for the poor. Funding came from subscriptions and, in 1747, the hospital became the first in England to add'lying-in' beds; the foundation stone for the second Middlesex Hospital, in Mortimer Street, was laid by the hospital's president, the Earl of Northumberland, in 1755. The central block of the new hospital opened in 1757.
Over the years extra wings were added but, in 1924, it was decided that the building was structurally unsound and an new building would be required. The Duke of York King George VI, having visited the hospital on 26 June 1928 to lay the foundation stone of the new building, returned on 29 May 1935 to open the completed building; the hospital had been rebuilt, on the same site and in stages, without being closed, paid for by more than £1 million of donations from members of the public. After coming under the management of the Bloomsbury Health Authority in 1980, the Middlesex Hospital became associated with various specialist hospitals in the local area. In 1992 the local urology hospitals, St Paul's, St Peter's and St Philip's, were closed down with services transferred to new accommodation in the Middlesex Hospital; the Middlesex Hospital Medical School traced its origins to 1746, when students were'walking the wards'. The motto of the medical school,'Miseris Succurrere Disco', was provided by one of the deans, Dr William Cayley, from Virgil's Queen Dido aiding a shipwreck:'Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco'.
At the establishment of the London University, the governors of the Middlesex Hospital declined permission of the former's medical students to use the wards of the Middlesex Hospital for clinical training. This refusal prompted the foundation of the North London Hospital, now University College Hospital, in 1834; the medical schools of the Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital merged in 1987 to form the University College and Middlesex School of Medicine. UCMSM itself merged with the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in 1998 to form the UCL Medical School; the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School was opened by Samuel Augustine Courtauld in 1928, the foundation stone having been laid on 20 July 1927. Its main entrance was in Riding House Street. Courtauld endowed a Chair of Biochemistry; the Middlesex Hospital closed in December 2005. The main hospital building in Mortimer Street was sold to developer Project Abbey Ltd, a company controlled by Christian and Nick Candy and was demolished in 2008.
The building was used, in the film Eastern Promises. Candy and Candy failed in plans to redevelop the site into a 273-apartment luxury accommodation complex, named "NoHo Square", transferred the property to the nationalised Icelandic bank, Kaupthing Bank. In 2010 the site was purchased by Clive Bush and Daniel Van Gelder's Exemplar Properties and Aviva Investors in July 2010. Exemplar decided against retaining either the Candy and Candy designs or the NoHo Square name and instead appointed new architects in Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Sheppard Robson to prepare new designs. Following a public exhibition a planning application for their proposed scheme was submitted in September 2011. Planning consent for the new development, now called Fitzroy Place, was granted in February 2012; the new development, which combines 295 homes with 240,000 sq ft of offices, including the regional headquarters for cosmetics multinational, Estée Lauder was completed in 2016. The former chapel of the Middlesex Hospital by John Loughborough Pearson is now the only surviving building of the Hospital.
The chapel was completed after the architect's death under the supervision of his son, Frank an architect. The chapel was structurally complete by the mid 1920s and the surrounding hospital demolished and rebuilt around it between 1928 and 1929; the chapel was not formally opened until 1929 by which time much of the lavish interior decoration of marbles and mosaic in a mix of Italian gothic and romanesque styles had been added, giving it the appearance it broadly retains today. The chapel is a Grade II* Listed building; the fabric of the chapel was allowed to decline in the closing decades of the Middlesex Hospital, with water ingress through the roof causing substantial damage to the fabric of the building. The chapel fabric and interior was subject to a £2m restoration and the building re-endowed with maintenance funds by Exemplar Properties. Never consecrated, named or dedicated, the chapel was given the name "Fitzrovia Chapel". For nearly 100 years, four giant paintings welcomed visitors to the reception area of The Middlesex Hospital.
The Acts of Mercy were painted in 1912 by Frederick Cayley Robinson, a distinctive yet elusive British artist, after being commissioned by Sir Edmund Davis, one of the governors of the hospital. Prior to the demolition of the hospital, the art was purchased by The Wellcome Library. People reported to have died
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is a school of University College London specializing in Central and South-Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The School teaches a wide range of subjects including the history, literature, sociology and languages of the region and is the largest centre for the study and research of Central and South-Eastern Europe, Russia in the United Kingdom, it has links with universities both across globally. The School was inaugurated in London in 1915, as a department of King's College London, by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who became President of Czechoslovakia. In 1932 the School became an Institute of the University of London, no longer connected to any college. In 1999, the School merged with University College London. More than 60 academic staff work at the School and conducting research in the history, politics, anthropology, culture and languages of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, Russia. In 2012/2013 the School had over 200 graduate students studying taught MA degrees or undertaking PhD research.
In addition, the School has over 600 undergraduate students. Along with its undergraduate and graduate teaching, the School hosts a number of interdisciplinary research centres and funded projects which aim to help us expand research and understanding of their specialist regions, it is a major international centre for training the next generation of regional specialists, through a combination of academic rigour and the skills and knowledge required by employers. It specializes in analyzing and disseminating information about changes in the region, publishing periodicals and books, holding conferences, public lectures and briefings, providing experts who can act as advisers to government, the media, public and private institutions. Comprising around 357,000 volumes of books and periodicals, the School's library is unique in the UK for the quantity of research material on open access and for the extensive collection of newspapers from the region, its collections of books and archives are consulted by scholars from all over the world, it has developed an important role in the provision of electronic and audio-visual material relating to its area of study.
Central to the School since its founding, the Library moved from Senate House to the new building on Taviton Street in 2005. The library is one of the leading research collections in Britain for the study of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; the main fields of interest are the languages, history, economics and bibliography of Russia and the western Republics of the former USSR, the Czech Lands, former Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, Austria and Italy. Subsidiary fields of interest are the arts in general, demography and religion. Material is collected on the former German Democratic Republic, the history of Germany and Austria, the Lusatian Sorbs, Slavonic and Ugro-Finnic studies in general; the Library houses the Bain Graffy Film Collection of films from and about Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. In May 2004 the foundation stone of the School's new building on Taviton Street in Bloomsbury was unveiled by the President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, in the presence of The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London.
The school moved to the building in the summer of 2005 after nearly 90 years at Senate House. Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, delivered the keynote address of his visit to the UK at a ceremony to open the building in October 2005. Following Klaus's address, the Princess Royal unveiled the stone to mark the formal opening of the building, on the occasion of the School's 90th anniversary; the building was designed by award-winning architects Associates. The design of the building aims to be'environmentally-friendly' not through the addition of elements such as solar panels, but by facilitating the passage of cool air around the building and so avoiding the need for air conditioning or other expensive, energy-using solutions – a first for the'central London heat island'. Acija Alfirević, academic and writer Anthony Bailey, interfaith campaigner Robin Baker, former Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University George Bolsover Michael Branch Sir Roger Carrick and former UK High Commissioner to Australia Robert Conquest and poet Norman Davies Peter J. S. Duncan Robert I.
Frost, historian Titus Hjelm, member of the power metal band Thunderstone Sir Robert Hodgson, diplomat Clare Hollingworth, journalist Geoffrey Hosking, academic and co-founder of Nightline Lindsey Hughes Andres Kasekamp, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute and Professor of Baltic Politics at the University of Tartu David Kirby, historian of the Baltic states Ivo Lapenna, former President of the World Esperanto Association and academic lawyer Alena Ledeneva Stephen Lovell, academic Clarence Manning and Slavici
British Universities and Colleges Sport
British Universities & Colleges Sport is the governing body for university sport in the United Kingdom. BUCS was formed in June 2008 following a merger of the British Universities Sports Association and University College Sport organisations. BUCS is responsible for organising more than 50 inter-university sports within the UK and representative teams for the World University Championships and the World University Games. BUCS is a membership organisation for over 170 universities and colleges in the UK, with over 4,800 teams participating in BUCS competitions. BUCS membership is open to all legal entities that are recognised higher education providers, including universities, HE colleges and FE colleges that offer HE qualifications. "Playing entities" – the institutions that compete – may be formed as a single entity from the whole student body of a member institution, as separate entities from main and satellite campuses, or from an umbrella body covering multiple HE institutions. BUCS organises a three-day national championships event for individual sports called the BUCS Nationals.
This was introduced in 2013, has been held every year in Sheffield. The other major multi-sport event run by BUCS is the single-day BUCS Big Wednesday, which sees the Championship finals of the team sports leagues take place on the same day, with the venue changing annually between different universities; these sports form part of the domestic BUCS competition: There are a number of sports that BUCS works with to encourage student involvement that are not part of the main BUCS competition: Baseball & Softball Handball Taekwondo Wakeboarding Weightlifting Wheelchair Basketball The inter university league competition provides for singles and level doubles, omitting mixed doubles. BUCS has various sponsors across the organisation. Deloitte, associated with BUCS since 2012. BUCS has other sponsorship deals with Red Bull and Molten Sport. BUCS awards points in all its competitions towards the'BUCS Overall Championship' – a ranking of member universities' sporting achievements; the overall winner receives the Kerslake Trophy, first awarded in 1959 to Birmingham.
Besides Loughborough, Birmingham have been Manchester 4 times and Bristol once. Since 2002–03, Birmingham, Durham and Leeds Met Carnegie have all achieved multiple top 3 finishes; until 2005–06, only total points were given. From 2011–12, "team" has been split into "league" and "cup"; until 2013–14, Loughborough scored highest in every category as well as highest overall. However, Durham has been top scorer in league competitions since 2013–14 and in cup competitions since 2014–15, although Loughborough's overwhelming dominance in individual competitions athletics and swimming, has enabled them to stay comfortably ahead in the overall table. BUCS is the latest manifestation of an association for the promotion of inter-university sport. Competition between various universities had existed for many decades before the twentieth century, notably the rivalries between Oxford and Cambridge, those between the country's medical schools; however no association existed to promote more widespread inter-university competition.
In February 1918, the Presidents of University Unions conference in Manchester called for the need to establish such an association and the following year the Inter-Varsity Board of England and Wales held its first round table inter-varsity meeting, with representatives of nine universities present. There was another round table meeting on 14 March 1919 to formalize this body and it involved 10 universities; the plan was to hold a track and field meeting at Aberystwyth on 28 May 1919. What happened is that 11 universities were due to compete on that date but only 9 did and the event happened in Manchester; the 9 were. The two who did not compete were Durham. Bristol got involved after the March round table meeting; the BUCS website does not have the correct information about this. In 1922, association football, field hockey, rugby union and swimming were added to the events programme and the following year the Women's Inter-Varsity Board came into being. In 1930 the Universities Athletic Union was established to manage inter-university men's competition across the whole country.
To manage Britain's student representation at an international level, the British Universities Sports Board was formed in 1952. This was replaced in 1962 by the British Universities Sports Federation with the Scottish Universities Sports Federation, the University of Wales Athletic Union and the Northern Ireland Universities Sports Committee being corporate members; however and polytechnics were excluded from membership and had their own equivalent bodies, the British Colleges Sports Association and the British Polytechnic Sports Association. Until 1979 men's and women's sport were still represented in Wales by separate bodies; the Women's Inter-Varsity Board was merged into the Universities Athletic Union. In 1992, the divide between universities and polytechnics was removed and a new single organisation was called for to represent them jointly; this led to the UAU and BUSF merging to
UCL Faculty of Life Sciences
The UCL Faculty of Life Sciences is one of the 11 constituent faculties of University College London. The Faculty forms part of the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences, together with the Faculty of Brain Sciences, the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Population Health Sciences. Chairs of Botany and Comparative Anatomy were established at UCL from its founding in 1826; the Department of Physiology was established at UCL in 1828 and the Department of Pharmacology in 1905. The Faculty of Life Sciences was founded in October 1990. In August 2008 it was announced that UCL had been selected to be the location for a new £140 million neuroscience institute to be funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation; the School of Pharmacy, University of London merged with UCL on 1 January 2012, becoming the UCL School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Life Sciences. The Faculty comprises the following departments and institutes: UCL Division of Biosciences UCL Research Department of Cell and Developmental Biology UCL Research Department of Genetics and Environment UCL Research Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology UCL Research Department of Structural and Molecular Biology MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at UCL Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit UCL School of Pharmacy Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour In the 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities, UCL is ranked 22nd in the world for Life & Agricultural Sciences.
In the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Faculty, UCL is ranked 10th in the world for Life Sciences and Medicine. In the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject, UCL is ranked 20th in the world for Biological Sciences, 14th in the world for Linguistics and 4th in the world for Pharmacy & Pharmacology. In the 2014/15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, UCL is ranked 17th in the world for Life Sciences. There are six Nobel Prize winners amongst the Faculty's alumni and current and former staff. Notable members of Faculty academic staff include: David Attwell David Colquhoun Stuart Cull-Candy Peter Dayan Rob Horne Steve Jones John O'Keefe Geraint Rees Jennifer Rohn Claudio Stern Gabriel Waksman Semir Zeki UCL Faculty of Life Sciences MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at UCL University College London
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in the south east of England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region. In 2013, the county had a population of 1,140,700 in an area of 634 square miles; the four towns that have between 50,000 and 100,000 residents are Hemel Hempstead, Watford and St Albans. Hertford, once the main market town for the medieval agricultural county, derives its name from a hart and a ford, used as the components of the county's coat of arms and flag. Elevations are high for the region in the west; these reach over 800 feet in the western projection around Tring, in the Chilterns. The county's borders are the watersheds of the Colne and Lea. Hertfordshire's undeveloped land is agricultural and much is protected by green belt; the county's landmarks span many centuries, ranging from the Six Hills in the new town of Stevenage built by local inhabitants during the Roman period, to Leavesden Film Studios.
The volume of intact medieval and Tudor buildings surpasses London, in places in well-preserved conservation areas in St Albans which includes some remains of Verulamium, the town where in the 3rd century an early recorded British martyrdom took place. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire is well-served with railways, providing good access to London; the largest sector of the economy of the county is in services. Hertfordshire was the area assigned to a fortress constructed at Hertford under the rule of Edward the Elder in 913. Hertford is derived from meaning deer crossing; the name Hertfordshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011. Deer feature in many county emblems. There is evidence of humans living in Hertfordshire from the Mesolithic period, it was first farmed during the Neolithic period and permanent habitation appeared at the beginning of the Bronze Age.
This was followed by tribes settling in the area during the Iron Age. Following the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, the aboriginal Catuvellauni submitted and adapted to the Roman life. Saint Alban, a Romano-British soldier, took the place of a Christian priest and was beheaded on Holywell Hill, his martyr's cross of a yellow saltire on a blue field is reflected in the flag and coat of arms of Hertfordshire as the yellow field to the stag or Hart representing the county. He is the Patron Saint of Hertfordshire. With the departure of the Roman Legions in the early 5th century, the now unprotected territory was invaded and colonised by the Anglo-Saxons. By the 6th century the majority of the modern county was part of the East Saxon kingdom; this short lived kingdom collapsed in the 9th century, ceding the territory of Hertfordshire to the control of the West Anglians of Mercia. The region became an English shire in the 10th century, on the merger of the West Saxon and Mercian kingdoms. A century William of Normandy received the surrender of the surviving senior English Lords and Clergy at Berkhamsted, resulting in a new Anglicised title of William the Conqueror before embarking on an uncontested entry into London and his coronation at Westminster.
Hertfordshire was used for some of the new Norman castles at Bishop's Stortford, at King's Langley, a staging post between London and the royal residence of Berkhamsted. The Domesday Book recorded the county as having nine hundreds. Tring and Danais became one—Dacorum—from Danis Corum or Danish rule harking back to a Viking not Saxon past; the other seven were Braughing, Cashio, Hertford and Odsey. The first shooting-down of a zeppelin over Great Britain during WW1 happened in Cuffley; as London grew, Hertfordshire became conveniently close to the English capital. However, the greatest boost to Hertfordshire came during the Industrial Revolution, after which the population rose dramatically. In 1903, Letchworth became the world's first garden city and Stevenage became the first town to redevelop under the New Towns Act 1946. From the 1920s until the late 1980s, the town of Borehamwood was home to one of the major British film studio complexes, including the MGM-British Studios. Many well-known films were made here including the first three Star Wars movies.
The studios used the name of Elstree. American director Stanley Kubrick not only used to shoot in those studios but lived in the area until his death. Big Brother UK and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have been filmed there. EastEnders is filmed at Elstree. Hertfordshire has seen development at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden. On 17 October 2000, the Hatfield rail crash killed four people with over 70 injured; the crash exposed the shortcomings of Railtrack, which saw speed restrictions and major track replacement. On 10 May 2002, the second of the Potters Bar rail accidents occurred killing seven people.
Rugby Football Union
The Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union in England. It was founded in 1871, was the sport's international governing body prior to the formation of what is now known as World Rugby in 1886, it promotes and runs the sport, organises international matches for the England national team, educates and trains players and officials. The RFU is an industrial and provident society owned by over 2,000 member clubs, representing over 2.5 million registered players, forms the largest rugby union society in the world, one of the largest sports organisations in England. It is based at London. In September 2010 the equivalent women's rugby body, the Rugby Football Union for Women, was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. On 4 December 1870, Edwin Ash of Richmond and Benjamin Burns of Blackheath published a letter in The Times suggesting that "those who play the rugby-type game should meet to form a code of practice as various clubs play to rules which differ from others, which makes the game difficult to play."
On 26 January 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 21 clubs was held in London at the Pall Mall Restaurant on Regent Street. The 21 clubs present at the meeting were: Blackheath, Ravenscourt Park, West Kent, Marlborough Nomads, Wimbledon Hornets, Civil Service, The Law Club, Wellington College, Guy's Hospital, Clapham Rovers, Harlequin F. C. King's College Hospital, St Paul's, Queen's House, Addison and Belsize Park; the one notable omission was the Wasps. According to one version, a Wasps' representative was sent to attend the meeting, but owing to a misunderstanding was sent to the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day. Ealing Rugby Club received an invitation, but their representative stopped in a public house and missed the meeting; as a result of this meeting the Rugby Football Union was founded. Algernon Rutter was elected as the first president of the RFU, Edwin Ash was elected as treasurer. Three lawyers who were Rugby School alumni drew up the first laws of the game, which were approved in June 1871.
Although similar unions were organised during the next few years in Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, France, South Africa, the United States, the RFU was the first and therefore had no need to distinguish itself from others by calling itself the English RFU. Twenty-two rugby clubs from across the north of England met on 29 August 1895 in the George Hotel in Huddersfield, where they voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union and set up the Northern Rugby Football Union; the RFU took strong action against the clubs involved in the formation of the NRFU, all of whom were deemed to have forfeited their amateur status and therefore to have left the RFU. A similar interpretation was applied to all players who played either for or against such clubs, whether or not they received any compensation; these players were barred indefinitely from any involvement in organised rugby union. These comprehensive and enduring sanctions, combined with the localised nature of most rugby competition, meant that most northern clubs had little practical option but to affiliate with the NRFU in the first few years of its existence.
The RFU long resisted competitions and leagues fearing that they would encourage foul play and professionalism. The first club competition known as the R. F. U. Club Competition, took place in 1972. Following a sponsorship agreement it became known as the John Player Cup in 1976; the RFU agreed to the formation of a league pyramid in 1987. In 2005 the RFU began talks about a merger with the governing body for women's rugby union the RFUW. In September 2010 the RFUW was able to nominate a member to the RFU Council to represent women and girls rugby; the RFUW was integrated into the RFU in July 2012. In response to the faltering results of the England national team, Rob Andrew was appointed on 18 August 2006 by the RFU to the post of Director of Elite Rugby, to oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England from the regional academies to the full senior side, including senior team selection powers and the power to hire and fire coaches at all levels of English rugby. Andrew had the task of building bridges with the premiership clubs and the RFU in terms of players withdrawal from their club duties for international duties.
On 6 January 2011 his role of Director of Elite Rugby was scrapped in an overhaul of the organisation's structure. Chief executive John Steele opted to create a single rugby department divided into the areas of performance and development with the emphasis on "delivering rugby at all levels", with each area having its own director; the England national rugby union team competes in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Scotland and Wales. They have won this championship outright on a total of 28 occasions, 13 times winning the Grand Slam and 25 times winning the Triple Crown, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history. England are to date the only team from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, when they won the tournament back in 2003, they were runners-up in 1991 and 2007. They are ranked fourth in the world by the International Rugby Board as of 19 Novembe