The ‘Varied’ program, led by the Cullera City Council and funded by European funds, comes to an end with a working meeting held in the town.
Mayor: “Today, there are more rugby clubs and associations for people with disabilities in Europe who are interested in having an inclusive rugby team.”
CULLERA, June 13, 2023 – The European project ‘Varied,’ led by the Cullera City Council to promote inclusive rugby, has come to an end after more than two years of work with a very positive outcome. “We have successfully exported this sports discipline that promotes social inclusion,” said the mayor of Cullera, Jordi Mayor, after the working meeting held last Friday in the town, which was attended by all the participating partners of the program.
“Today, there are more rugby clubs and associations for people with disabilities in Europe who are interested in having an inclusive rugby team,” added the mayor.
It should be noted that in the ‘Varied’ project, funded with €200,000 from European funds, the University of Valencia, Trust Rugby International Spain, GIPACOR (France), Rugby Union Donau Wien (Austria), CUS Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), and the European Centre for Innovation, Education, Science and Culture (Bulgaria) participated alongside Cullera.
In this final administrative meeting to close the program, the partners shared the objectives achieved during these years of work. For example, CUS Roma Tor Vergata (Italy) highlighted the participation of more than 200 volunteers who have been of great help in carrying out their social integration work.
Both the Rugby Union Donau Wien (Austria) and the European Centre for Innovation, Education, Science and Culture (Bulgaria) expressed their satisfaction with being able to carry out this initiative, as it was the first time for both countries to participate in a project of this kind.
GIPACOR (Corsica, France) highlighted the importance of the synergies formed among all the involved countries. These have allowed each of them to learn and discover social aspects specific to each culture.
Finally, both Trust Rugby International Spain and the Cullera City Council, through its Department of Economic Promotion, which includes the European Office, thanked each of the participating countries for all the effort and dedication put into the project. In this regard, the Councilor for Economic Promotion, Débora Marí, encouraged continuing the program as “it is essential to continue fighting for a fairer world where people with and without disabilities and/or social exclusion can live the lives they deserve.”
VI International Inclusive Rugby Festival
To give more significance to the closure of the ‘Varied’ project, Cullera also held the VI International Inclusive Rugby Festival over the past weekend, driven by Trust Rugby International Spain in collaboration with the City Council and with the participation of the Espurna Foundation and volunteers from the Rugby Club Cullera.
In this sixth edition, the following teams participated: Les Abelles Rugby Club (Valencia), Elx Rugby Inclusiu (Elx-Alicante), BUC (Barcelona), Rugby Ávila Inclusivo (Ávila), ElClanTRI-EspurnaCullera (Cullera), and a delegation from the VARIED CLAN (International Combined Team).
The festival featured an extensive program of activities, which focused more on the social aspect than on the sports aspect since its main objective was to make all participants feel part of a larger community.
One of the most anticipated moments of the festival took place on Saturday night at the Cullera Market Gardens: the celebration of the third International Inclusive Paella Contest, in which around 350 people participated, cooking 24 paellas. The Artisan Rice Product Club of Cullera also actively participated in organizing the contest.
At the end of the night, Casa Rocher restaurant was declared the winner, with Casa Salvador restaurant in second place and Cafetería Alcalá in third place.
Additionally, the special ‘Spirit of Paella’ award was presented to recognize the good atmosphere and camaraderie with which the paella was prepared. This edition’s award went to Casa Salvador restaurant.