Marie Healy, will captain the first Irish Women’s Mixed Ability Team.

Calling all rugby fans

By Katie O'Keeffe

“The event is really taking shape. There’s huge excitement within the IMART camp here in Cork, but also amongst the teams from around the world who are travelling here to take part in a tournament that celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport.”

Those were the words of Liam Maher, co-founder of IMART 2022 as the countdown gets underway for the 2022 International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament (IMART). With less than a week to go, the organisers are looking for supporters in Cork to attend the event.

It’ll be a 6-day long affair, and organisers say they need people on the ground to support the teams, travelling from all over the world to showcase all that Cork has to offer as a sporting host.

In the region of 1,100 players with and without disabilities, from 14 countries will come together to play rugby under same World Rugby laws as the XV a side game with only minor adaptations such as uncontested scrums.

Mr Maher said: “We have live music, mixed ability sports and matches on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in Cork and the event is very much family friendly.”

He added: “What we need now is for the people of Cork to come out and cheer on the players in what promises to be one of the most inspirational sports events ever to come to this country.

“We have already received huge support from people throughout the country, and this is the final push for supporters.

“Responsibilities will range from general volunteers to translators, who will support the 14 teams competing across the week.”

This year’s event is made extra special by the fact that it will host the first ever KPMG sponsored Women’s Mixed Ability Rugby tournament, with Ballincollig Trailblazers competing for the title. The Ballincollig Trailblazers are the first ever Irish Women’s Mixed Ability Team.

IMART have also announced that Smurfit Kappa as headline sponsors of the event.

Group Financial Controller at Smurfit Kappa, Irene Page said: “Mixed Ability gives everybody the opportunity to be a rugby player regardless of size, shape or ability.

“Supporting IMART is providing an incredible opportunity to welcome teams from around the world, celebrate the achievements of the players and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

It is hoped that the IMART Tournament in Cork will enhance interest, participation and interaction of people of all abilities in the sport across Ireland and beyond, and help to build new connections between grassroots clubs, educational institutions, communities and local authorities.

Attendees for the event are invited to book their free tickets at