IMART 2025 awarded to the City of Pamplona, Spain, and IMART 2028 announced!

por | Oct 25, 2023 | Blog, IMART, IMART 2025, IMART 2028, International, International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament, Mixed Ability Sports, Press Release, Sin categorizar

International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) is thrilled to announce that the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament is returning in 2025 and will be hosted by the City of Pamplona, Spain.

Located in the north-east region of Navarra, Pamplona is a historic town steeped in culture, heritage, and ancient traditions. With more than 200,000 inhabitants, growing to one million at the peak of the tourist season, Pamplona is a thriving city that hosts cutting-edge industries, services and two prestigious universities.

Famous for its ‘Ferias of San Fermín’, and the excellent wine and food scene, Pamplona is also significant from an inclusive perspective. The current town, in fact, is the result of the union of three different settlements, the Basques, the Franks and the Navarra people, who set aside centuries of disagreements and conflict to come together as one in 1423, when Charles III granted them ‘privilege of the union’.

The bid to host the tournament has been led by Iruña Rugby Club and enthusiastically supported by the City Council of Pamplona, the Government of Navarra, the Institute of Sport of Navarra, the Rugby Federation of Navarra, as well as the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) – whose sports infrastructure will host the rugby matches and all the further exhibition sports activities.

María Chivite, President of the Government of Navarra said: “From the Government of Navarra, we always lend our support and recognition to initiatives that, like this one, favour, promote and make visible the practice of sports, inclusion, equality and coexistence. We welcome the Mixed Ability rugby world championship with enthusiasm and with our support, and we express our gratitude to all those involved for choosing our community and the collaboration which makes it possible.

The Mayor of Pamplona, Cristina Ibarrola, said: “Pamplona is incredibly proud to host the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament (IMART) in 2025. For our city it is a recognition of our firm commitment towards the values of inclusion, integration, diversity and coexistence. Sport is a very important vehicle to build a society that provides the same opportunities to everyone, and to raise awareness among the population as a whole of the need to eliminate all types of barriers. This tournament will be a great opportunity to project this vision from Pamplona to the whole world. With the support of the entire Pamplona society and our local team, Iruña Rugby Club, we will be at the height of this international tournament.

Josetxo Murguiondo, president of Iruña Rugby Club, said: “I feel great pride and honour that our candidacy has been chosen and that our community, city, and our club have been awarded the task of organising this great championship. From the Iruña Rugby Club we will not disappoint the trust placed in us, rest assured that all participants and companions… of the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament will be well received in our city.

IMAS is also excited to announce that we have identified a preferred candidate for IMART 2028. For the first time, IMART will travel outside of Europe to be hosted in Ontario, Canada. IMART 2028 will be led by Abilities Centre and Rugby Ontario who have shown a fantastic commitment to the Mixed Ability model in rugby and many other activities.

Martino Corazza, co-founder and Director at IMAS “We are amazed by the success of IMART and the global growth of Mixed Ability rugby in the past few years. The huge achievements of Cork 2022 have firmly placed IMART on the global world rugby map! We are thrilled to celebrate IMART’s 10th anniversary in Pamplona, a city truly committed to inclusion, but are also looking forward to giving the Mixed Ability world cup a long-term vision, with a strong bid from Ontario to host the tournament in 2028! We would like to use this opportunity to thank and celebrate the whole Mixed Ability movement, without whom all of this wouldn’t be possible. See you in Pamplona!

The expression of interest process for IMART 2025 will open later this year, but following the huge success of Cork 2022, we are expecting more places to be reserved for Mixed Ability women’s teams, as well as parallel competitions in additional sports such as rowing, basketball, and the 4th International IMAS Conference.

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