Community festival leads with Mixed Ability Rugby

On a sunny July day, this year’s Longlevens Festival was the most successful yet due to the Mixed Ability Rugby Festival being central to the day’s events. Mixed Ability Rugby (MAR) utilises playing bins in a unique way so that contact and touch rugby work seamlessly together in a game of 15 a side Rugby Union.

Hosted at Longlevens RFC’s ground and sponsored by Dee & Griffin Solicitors, the Longlevens festival raises funds for Wooden Spoon and Longlevens RFC. The day saw the established Longlevens RFC MAR team take on Wooden Spoon’s Invitational team, featuring a host of local rugby legends including the Gloucestershire Chairman Rob York.

MAR allows anyone to play Rugby Union regardless of mental or physical disability or the perception of not being good enough. The invitational side represented a wonderful opportunity to showcase the game to a new audience and  help dispel a lot of assumptions. The match was closely fought with Longlevens RFC coming away as the victors.

Spoony made an appearance to cheer on both sides.

Chairman of Wooden Spoon Gloucestershire region Rob York said ‘It was an absolute joy to pull on the boots after many years and make my mixed ability debut. The passion and love for the game really comes through from the boys and frankly I was surprised by the standard and energy illustrated in the match.’

Chairman of Longlevens RFC Chris Yorke said ‘MAR and Wooden Spoon are very close to our hearts so it was the perfect opportunity to combine our efforts for a wonderful afternoon. There is a huge disabled community that loves rugby in Gloucestershire so we are really pleased to give them their own show case event to show off their skills.’

Managing Partner of Dee & Griffin Solicitors Julian Jenkins said ‘today was the perfect showcase of mixed ability sport and we are so proud to support it. Well done to Rich Steward and all those that helped make it happen.’

Following the rugby, festival go-ers could take in live bands, food and locally sourced cider and gin stalls.

Find out about the activities taking place near you, how you can get involved and support children and young people with disability or facing disadvantage locally.