Preparations for IMART 2022 are ramping up and the IRFU High Performance Centre was the venue for a key training day for the Irish teams taking part.
IMART is the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament taking place in Musgrave Park from June 5 to 10.
Cork was all set to host the event before the pandemic hit in 2020, but tournament organisers can at last look forward to staging a stellar week of rugby and entertainment for all sorts of families to enjoy.
Six mixed ability rugby sides trained at the IRFU HPC on the Sport Ireland Campus at the weekend – Ballincollig Trailblazers, Banbridge Barbarians, DSLP Vikings, Malone Tornadoes, Sunday’s Well Rebels and West Cork Jesters.
28 teams and 1,100 players from 14 different nations will head to Musgrave Park next month. West Cork Jesters (Pool C), Malone Tornadoes (Pool D), Sunday’s Well Rebels (Pool E), Banbridge Barbarians (Pool F) take part in the Men’s competition, while the Ballincollig Trailblazers will be Ireland’s representatives in the Women’s competition.
Italy, England, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Wales, Scotland, England, Argentina, Canada and Belgium will be represented at the tournament. IMART is proudly supported by Munster Rugby and the IRFU.
What Is Mixed Ability Rugby?
Anyone playing with the teams cannot help a smile creeping onto their face when talking about it. For those who have experienced it on the pitch, it is a very simple concept – just another rugby team!
But trying to explain what it is and why it works to someone who has not experienced it, is much more difficult than you can imagine.
It is not a disability team, players are not classified by physical, intellectual or mental disabilities or barriers. It is a team open to anyone who wants to play regular full contact rugby…for rugby’s sake.
If you happen to have some form of disability or barrier but want to play regular rugby, then you are more than welcome.
The same goes if you have no disability or barrier. Games are played in true rugby spirit where of course you want to win, but either side getting hammered on the scoreboard is not much fun.