This Sunday it took place in Musgrave Park in Cork, Ireland, the opening ceremony of the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament (IMART 2022, International Mixed Ability Rubgy Tournament). This is the most important tournament held to date in which more than 1,000 players from 14 countries are participating. with 28 teams made up of people with and without diagnosed physical or cognitive disabilities.
The Spanish teams participating in the championship are Incluindus (Las Rozas, Madrid), URA Clan (Almería), Club de Rugby el Salvador (Valladolid) and Gaztedi Rugby Taldea (Vitoria-Gasteiz). In addition, the International Women’s Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament is being held for the first time where Spanish players will have a leading role, with the Incluindus and URA Clan team, and the one formed by the players from the El Salvador Rugby Club.
Starting today, a total of 82 matches will be played until the women’s and men’s finals are reached on Friday, June 10 at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (local time), respectively. In addition, throughout this First Week of Mixed Abilities, new sports will be exhibited that have also incorporated their “mixed ability” version, with demonstrations of football, boxing and a rowing regatta, in addition to other activities such as concerts or conferences.
A historic event Cork has been the city chosen to host this world championship, one of the most important events on the world mixed abilities sporting calendar, which aims to break down barriers to participation in sport, promote social inclusion and generate long-term positive change. During the opening ceremony, host Munster Rugby captain Peter O’Mahony said: “I am proud to support the International Mixed Abilities Rugby Tournament coming to Ireland for the first time.”
Among the authorities who attended the opening ceremony was the Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin, who stated: ““Mixed abilities rugby is an excellent example of how sport can offer equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, condition or abilities, promoting inclusion, diversity, community participation and competitiveness.”
Dreams fulfilled, without barriers Incluindus is one of the pioneering inclusive rugby teams in Spain, belonging to the Industrial Engineers club of Las Rozas, Madrid. It was created in 2013 with a single player “based on his dedication and the stubbornness of a couple of friends and rugby lovers, who wanted our club to have a team where all abilities were welcome,” explains Juan Ignacio Pita. Macpherson, co-founder, coach and coordinator of the Incluindus project.
“Being playing in the ‘Mixed Ability’ World Cup is already a reward for those of us who make up the great Incluindus family, all its players, their families, support staff and all the people, companies and organizations that have trusted us and without which this dream could not have come true,” he adds.