First mixed-ability World Rugby Tournament

IMAS (International Mixed Ability Sports) is pleased to announce that The Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust has donated £ 5,000 to the 1st Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament–MARWT which will take place in Bradford West Yorkshire from the 17th to 21st August 2015.

More than 400 players with and without disabilities will come together from 10 different countries in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup.

IMAS whose’ role is to promote and expand the Mixed Ability model, encourages social inclusion by mixing able-bodied and disabled players in the same full contact, XV-a-side rugby union game. Mixed Ability Rugby Union has been championed across Yorkshire since the formation of the Bumble Bees RUFC in 2009 England’s’ first Mixed Ability side.

Bumbles players with Learning and Physical Disabilities have already been instrumental in the setting up of three new teams with two in West Yorkshire and one in Ireland. The players are working with IMAS to lead a two year National Roll-Out in partnership with England Rugby and the Workers’ Educational Association aimed at creating 20 new Mixed Ability Rugby sides across the country, and promoting the first International federation of Mixed Ability Rugby clubs, Ability Rugby International–ARI.

Martino Corazza, IMAS director and International Co-coordinator said: “we are very grateful for this generous donation from the Barbarians. It makes us feel incredibly proud to be supported by the Baa-Baas, a true legend in the rugby world family. We want to emphasize the fact that the Barbarians were founded in Bradford like us, and with their 125th anniversary coming up, the MARWT event will celebrate the founding principles we all draw upon: good-fellowship, respect and enjoyment of rugby for all, no matter who you are or where you’re coming from”.

Martino Corazza, added: “the Barbarians donation will allow us to secure hospitality to those delegations coming from socially disadvantaged situations or with economic restraints, in particular the Serbian Mixed Ability team are entirely reliant on donations, with little or no state provision for their disabled players. The Serbian Coach Petar Stanić recently turned down a coaching role with the national side in order to continue his voluntary work with the integrated team.

The support of the Barbarians will help us in raising the profile of the Tournament, furthering provision of rugby for all and showing a wider audience that rugby is a powerful mean for social change”.

Pictured are Barbarians Secretary Gordon Brown with IMAS organiser Martino Corrazza and two participating players.