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Ballincollig Trailblazers captain Marie Healy loving life at IMART 2022

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Ballincollig Trailblazers star Marie Healy says she is having the time of her life at IMART 2022.

The International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament (IMART) is proving to be a raving success at Musgrave Park.

The international tournament, which was originally scheduled for June 2020 but for Covid-19, finally kicked off on Monday morning with 14 different countries represented.

Flying the flag for Ireland in the women’s pool are the Ballincollig Trailblazers, captained by the talented Marie Healy. Marie led her team to two wins and one defeat in their three games against Harlequeens Latina (World), El Salvadaor (Spain) and UR Almeria/Incluindus (also Spain) earlier this week and is now looking forward to the finals.

The Trailblazers have played some thrilling rugby so far but although winning matches is enjoyable, Marie says that the atmosphere, camaraderie and fun created by the occasion is what makes it most special.

IMART 2022

Marie Healy on the magic of IMART

“Oh my god the atmosphere is absolutely brilliant,” Marie told Pundit Arena. ” The craic with the players from the other teams in the tent after the matches is awesome – even dancing in the tent! 

“The atmosphere is awesome, like, I couldn’t ask for any better and I have gotten to speak to a few of the Spanish players and people from other places.”

Prior to the tournament, Healy spoke about her excitement to meet other players from different parts of the world. Thanks to IMART 2022, she has done just that over the past few days and says she now wants to travel abroad to grow the game even further

“As I say, my hope is to go abroad to get more mixed ability teams involved in the sport because there’s only four mixed ability teams at the moment. 

“I really think after this week with the interviews and everything that I’ve done this week – it will grow. There will be more teams, more women’s teams especially in the next few years. 

“They will build. It will grow and grow because of all the speakers, motivational speakers…it’s been fantastic. 

“We were at a conference yesterday in the Pavillion and I said I’d love to see more women’s teams involved in the sport. I’d love to play other teams, not just the three teams involved this week. 

“I’ve had the time of my life,” says Marie Healy.

Like the rest of the players at IMART 2022, Healy has had an unforgettable time at Musgrave Park and wants more women to experience the happiness that mixed ability rugby has brought to her life.

“It’s been immense. I’ve had the time of my life playing with my Ballincollig Trailblazers teammates this week,” she beamed. 

“As well as that we have a few Canadian girls playing with us this week which is brilliant as well because now we get to call them our friends for life which is great. They are so nice and it’s been a pleasure getting to know everyone this week. 

“Getting out on that rugby pitch is the main focus and just having the time of your life. Regardless, win, lose or draw, we’re here to have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Here’s hoping Marie and the Ballincollig Trailblazers can get another win under their belt in today’s semi-final and most importantly, continue to embrace the unique spirit of mixed ability rugby.

For more information on the tournament you can  visit www.imartworldcup.org

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