Pool Draw | International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament 2020
19th February 2020 By The Editor
Representatives from the IRFU and IMART (International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament) gathered recently for the competition selection for the IMART 2020 Mixed Ability Rugby World Cup Tournament.
Journalist and broadcaster Matt Cooper, who has been championing IMART 2020 since Sunday’s Well Rugby Club saw out tough competition to win their bid to host the tournament in Cork, was in attendance at Facebook EU HQ in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock on the day, to draw the groups for the 3rd edition of the International Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament.
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 from the 7th-12th of June in Cork.
Speaking at the IMART 2020 Pool Draw, 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. With just four months to go before thousands descend on Cork for this momentous sporting occasion, we are really hitting the ground running behind the scenes in terms of preparation. The support people have shown to date has been truly fantastic. Bring on IMART Ireland 2020!”
The Draw – Results
The men’s tournament draw will consist of 6 pools of 4 teams, with the winners in each pool, plus the next 2 highest scoring teams progressing to the quarter-finals. Points are scored through pools match results and through the “Spirit Of” scoring system.
The remaining men’s teams will play out for placements, with all teams having equal opportunities to score points for the ‘Spirit of Mixed Ability Rugby Trophy.’
The inaugural women’s Mixed Ability Rugby World Cup will be run as a round robin and culminate in a final and a runners-up competition. Points are scored through pools match results and through the “Spirit Of” scoring system.
The World Cup in Ireland
The winning bid to host the world tournament in Ireland this summer, was secured by the Sunday’s Well Rebels – the team behind Ireland’s first ever Mixed Ability rugby team and responsible for winning the opportunity to host the event in Ireland.
Alan Craughwell co-founder of the first Mixed Ability rugby team in Ireland, ‘Sunday’s Well Rebels,’ said: “The hosting of this World Cup event will be the culmination of years of effort and the unstinting determination of a unique group of people who witnessed first-hand how the power of sport can change the lives of individuals. The fact that some participants are challenged by varying levels of disabilities comes secondary to the strength of their competitive spirit. A shared desire to push themselves, the instinct to participate and to strive to win and to be a part of a team, has, since the sport’s formation, been wholly compelling. Players motivate and lift each other up and push on because they’re all in it together and the game matters.
“This is serious sport, it’s competitive, the referees’ decisions will count. It will be high intensity for supporters from home and away and will be broadcast in 14 countries covered by domestic and international media teams. It is a World Cup in name and nature, and will offer Ireland and Cork an opportunity to showcase a world-class venue, as well as event, tourism and visitor facilities. Its economic impact is set to generate over €3million for the Cork economy during the period.”
International Mixed Ability Sports Director Martino Corazza welcomed the choice of Ireland as the host country.
“Cork is a fantastic city, with a great rugby tradition, and Sunday’s Well Rebels are one of the best and brilliant examples of rugby clubs being truly representative of their local community. We are incredibly proud of this event and look forward to an exhilarating tournament in Cork. I know that IMART 2020 will spread IMAS’ inclusive message far and wide and inspire many more individuals, clubs and National Governing Bodies to take up Mixed Ability.”
Liam Maher spoke of their plans to showcase all that Cork has to offer to the tournament participants, as well as organisers and spectators who will flock to the event.
“We have worked closely with the IRFU, Munster Rugby, Cork City Council, IMAS, and others in an effort to bring this event to Cork. There has been a lot of work in the background – not just in preparing the bid for this global tournament, but in securing recognition for Mixed Ability Rugby as an official rugby sport. We have been in talks with the IRFU since the Rebels were set up in 2014 and were part of a pilot project which has resulted in the creation of five new men’s mixed ability teams and Ireland’s first women’s team, the ‘Ballincollig Trail Blazers’ from Ballincollig RFC. We are alsodelighted that the IRFU will be on site for the week bringing their expertise to support the running of the tournament.
“We are exceptionally proud that Cork has been chosen to host IMART 2020. Cork won the bid in part due to Ireland’s international reputation as a rugby powerhouse, but also because we have a reputation in Mixed Ability sport. Mixed Ability is about valuing everyone’s potential and celebrating what’s at the heart of true sport – participation, passion and fun!”