Tuesday 22 September 2020

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Mixed Ability RWC seeks further funding

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 3:50pm

The competition selection for the IMART 2020 Mixed Ability Rugby World Cup Tournament, which will be on in Cork in June, took place this week in Dubin.

Journalist and broadcaster Matt Cooper, who has been championing IMART 2020 since Sunday’s Well Rugby Club won the bid to host the tournament, was in attendance at Facebook EU HQ in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock, to draw the groups for the third edition of the International Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament.

Permanent TSB were also announced as headline sponsors of IMART 2020, which will take place in Cork from 7-12 June.

This year’s tournament will see 28 teams from 14 countries, 1,000 players and, for the first time, four women's teams compete for the Women’s Winners’ Cup and Women’s Spirit of Mixed Ability Rugby Cup.

Speaking at the IMART 2020 Pool Draw on Monday, Liam Maher, co-founder of the Sunday’s Well Rebels said: “Today is a big day, in a succession of big steps we’ve taken since we first decided we would put everything we have into bringing IMART 2020 to Ireland. The support people have shown to date has been truly fantastic. We are indebted to everyone who has helped us reach this point. We are delighted that Permanent TSB have come on board as headline sponsor, and we are hugely grateful for their backing. Bring on IMART Ireland 2020!”

Catherine Doyle of Permanent TSB spoke of their support for “a game that promotes unity and equality”. “Upon hearing of the tournament, we immediately knew we wanted to get involved in whatever way we could. The relentless work that has gone into not only bringing the tournament to, but promoting the game itself in Ireland, is something to be applauded and admired. I have no doubt that the drive and determination of all involved will ensure an event that would be hard to rival anywhere else in the world.”

A fundraising campaign is underway to help an inclusive mixed-ability sports event to reach its funding goal. If funding targets are met, it will enable the release of an additional €500,000 in backing in the form of EU grants in matched funding from the EU Erasmus+ for Sport fund.

The team continue to look to corporate entities, Government, sporting organisations and local communities to raise the additional funds to meet the sponsorship goal that will release the balance of EU grant funds.

The winning bid to host the world tournament in Ireland was secured by the Sundays Well Rebels. The Rebels were Ireland’s first ever mixed ability rugby team.

Organisers are working hard to secure the necessary funding to provide food, accommodation, insurances, catering and logistics for players.

With 28 teams playing, from 14 countries, including Argentina, New Zealand, Ecuador, Italy, Spain, and the UK, the event will require 250 volunteers.

Four women’s teams will also take part in the tournament for the first time, including the Ballincollig Trail Blazers. A full plane load of players and supporters is expected from Argentina alone.

“Its economic impact is set to generate over €3 million for the Cork economy during the period,” said Mr Maher.

In recent months companies such as headline sponsor Permanent TSB, KPMG, Musgrave Group, Heineken, Irish Distillers, Dell EMC, O'Flynn Exhams, and Cork Airport have come on board.

There are various opportunities to get involved, either as a sponsor or a volunteer. For further information or to get in contact, visit mixedabilitysports.org.

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