In this new working meeting, the progress achieved so far by the European program led by the Cullera City Council, together with Trust Rugby International Spain, has been presented. Mayor: “We have succeeded in making the whole of Europe aware of this sports discipline that promotes social integration, and Cullera is a benchmark in it.” CULLERA. 17-11-22. Cullera is currently participating in the third meeting of the European project ‘Varied’ for the promotion of inclusive rugby, taking place in Corsica.
Today, the mayor of the town, Jordi Mayor, and the deputy mayor for Economic Promotion, Débora Marí, took part in a working meeting held in the city of Bastia, Corsica, where each partner in the project presented the progress made since the last meeting held in Rome in June. “We are very pleased with the evolution of this project as we have succeeded in making the whole of Europe aware of this sports discipline that promotes social integration,” said Jordi Mayor. “Today, there are more rugby clubs and associations for people with disabilities in Europe that are interested in having an inclusive rugby team. The balance so far is very positive,” added the mayor. In this third meeting, which takes place on November 17th and 18th, participants include Cullera, 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).
In addition to the administrative meeting for partners to assess the actions taken over the past few months, the meeting includes a practical and sporting component where participants attend a demonstration of inclusive rugby.
‘Varied’ Inclusive Rugby Project The ‘Varied’ project, funded with 200,000 euros from European funds, is a pioneering program involving five countries (Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, and France) coordinated by Cullera through the European Office of the Department of Economic Promotion of the municipality.
The Varied program aims to transmit Cullera’s knowledge in inclusive rugby to volunteer recruitment and training. It is worth noting that this type of rugby, developed by Trust Rugby International Spain with the participation of the Espurna Association and volunteers from Cullera Rugby Club, encourages people with and without disabilities, including men and women, to play rugby together and use team sports as a vehicle for social integration. The Cullera City Council, Trust Rugby International Spain, and the University of Valencia represent Spain in the ‘Varied’ project, along with other entities and organizations from Italy, France, Bulgaria, and Austria. These include prestigious institutions such as the Università di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), the Gipacor education center in Corsica (France), Rugby Open Borders (Austria), and the European Centre for Innovation, Education, Science, and Culture (Bulgaria).
The project has a duration of 30 months. After this meeting in Corsica, a new working meeting will be held in Bulgaria in early 2023. The program will conclude with a closing festival between May and June 2023 in Cullera, where all five participating countries and various special guests from the international rugby community will take part.
5th International Inclusive Rugby Festival In September of last year, Cullera hosted the 5th International Inclusive Rugby Festival, promoted by Trust Rugby International Spain in collaboration with the City Council and with the participation of the Espurna Foundation and volunteers from Cullera Rugby Club. In this fifth edition, five teams from different parts of Spain participated: Las Abejas de València, Hernani CRE de Hernani, Getxo Rugby de Getxo, Club de Rugby Atlético Portuense from Puerto de Santa María, URA Clan from Almeria, and the Clan TRI-Chispa from Cullera, as well as the Scottish delegation ‘The Grampian Clan’ and the Solidarity School Foundation from Granada. The festival features an extensive program of activities with a more social than sporting character, as its main purpose is to make all participants feel part of a larger community.
Cullera European Office The Cullera European Office, created in the previous term, is key to the development of important projects such as the ‘Varied’ Inclusive Rugby program. In fact, since its establishment, the town has secured European funding exceeding several million euros. This economic injection has also served to boost and promote the economy in various sectors such as sports and tourism.