It may be the offseason for rugby but Buccaneers Rugby Football Club is busy preparing to host an All-Ireland Mixed Ability Rugby tournament at Dubarry Park on Saturday next, June 10th. The on-pitch event will run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Presentations and musical entertainment will follow on. Admission is FREE and all are invited to come along and enjoy this inaugural event which is being supported by the IRFU, who will be bringing the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies along on the day.

The mixed ability version of the sport is an inclusive approach to participation that engages everyone, no matter their age, ability or experience level. It is an approach where the barriers to participation are removed and a welcoming environment is created.

The concept is to include people with physical and/or learning disabilities, and indeed those recovering from mental problems, everybody really. It works by having some experienced players on a team who act as facilitators for those less experienced players by assisting and guiding. Teams can comprise of male and female players. The laws of the game are not changed from regular rugby except that scrums are uncontested.

The benefits to mixed ability are across the board really, as it is not just the disabled player who benefits from being included in a squad. There is a genuine spirit of camaraderie before and after a game and gives everyone an opportunity to experience inclusion at first hand.

Teams from all four provinces will be participating and it is anticipated that several hundred players will be involved so it looks like the Athlone venue will be buzzing on Saturday. Hopefully, this spell of wonderful weather will last until the weekend and that there will be a large turnout of spectators to support this most worthwhile venture. Scores of volunteers have already promised to assist on the day but more are always welcome. If you wish to help or simply require further information, contact the event controller Niall at 0879764966.

Link on to https://youtube.com/live/aKF2_OSF0TU?feature=share to view live stream of the event.