Earlier last week, IMAS attended the Erasmus+ Sport MIX.A.R. project kick-off meeting at the University of Salamanca (Spain).
IMAS, who has partnered with Federazione Italiana Rugby (Italy), Federación Española de Rugby (Spain), Rugby Vlaanderen (Belgium), INICO Universidad de Salamanca (Spain), Per Formare (Italy) and Sundays Well Rebels (Ireland), will lead the Mixed Ability training in a 2-year EU funded programme, aiming to establish Mixed Ability rugby teams within mainstreams Clubs in Italy, Spain, Belgium and Ireland.
The Mixed Ability Model combines sport and education to ensure individuals, clubs, coaches and National Governing Bodies ‘see the person first’ and anyone can enjoy sport in a mainstream, non-adapted setting. IMAS works with participants who have faced a myriad of barriers to participation in sport to co-develop educational resources and co-deliver training to provide safe and welcoming sporting environments for everyone regardless of (dis)ability, sexuality, gender, age, long-term health conditions, skill level, and self-perception.
Building on the successful partnership with England Rugby and two International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournaments, IMAS will expand its activities to support new Unions and Clubs across Europe.
IMAS Director Martino Corazza said: «We are delighted that more and more Unions decide to adopt our model which ensures individuals, clubs, coaches and National Governing Bodies ‘see the person first’. Sport belongs to everyone, and we should all be allowed to enjoy it in a mainstream, non-adapted setting. Rugby values have always been based on respect and inclusion of diversity, and this project will show that rugby is truly for everyone!».
FIR Community Rugby Director, Daniele Pacini added: «FIR not only aims to further develop the Game in Italy, but wants to be an active promoter of Mixed Ability in Italy, Europe, and the world. We are thrilled that the European Union has decided to support us, IMAS and all the other partners by actively contributing to the project and we look forward to starting the activities, making the game really for everyone».
Alfonso Feijoo, FER President, also said: «The Spanish Union is convinced we must find a way for social rights to be achieved by any citizen in the world, especially in the world of sport and rugby in particular.»
The next project meeting will see partners coming to Bradford for 2 days of Mixed Ability training at the beginning of April 2018. If you want to know more about Mixed Ability rugby or MIXAR, please get in touch with us!