Our VI rugby programme was delivered in its seventh country this month. The success of the programme brings our charity one step closer to launching the first-ever VI Rugby World Cup in 2023 that will run alongside the Rugby World Cup in France.
Together with former Italian International rugby player and our VI Rugby Ambassador Ian Mckinley, our Head of Business Development and VI Rugby Manager Alex Bassan spent two days in Treviso, Italy delivering the VI Rugby training workshops.
The event was run in partnership was Benetton Rugby Club, the leading professional team in Italy. The club generously allowed us to run the session from their incredible home training ground, La Ghirada-Città dello Sport.
Alex shared: “It’s great to see the further expansion of the game and to be supported by Italy’s largest professional club, it’s a great honour and we can’t wait to see how it develops in the future.”
The rugby community from across Northern Italy attended the event, including rugby club officials, educational facilitators and even some of the current Benetton rugby players including, Irne Herbst, Simone Ferrari and Michele Lemaro, current Italian international team rugby captain. The team were also joined by the IRFU’s Disability and Inclusion Officer David McKay. David shared his wealth of expertise and guidance from a rugby union perspective, having already developed the game in Ireland over the past year.
Overall the training event was a huge success with positive feedback from all involved. Excitingly, the development plan now seeks to engage and deliver training sessions at Benetton’s training facility engaging visually impaired people from across Northern Italy. Plans are also underway to coordinate a VI rugby game during the halftime of a derby match between Benetton and Zebre, to showcase and officially launch the game in Italy.
We would like to give a special thank you to all the incredible people who turned up to training, the professional players that took the time to come to training, David McKay for his time and experience sharing, Antonino Pavanello Sporting director of Benetton and his team at Benetton rugby for hosting and being the home of VI rugby in Italy and last but not least, VI Rugby Ambassador Ian McKinley for continuing to strive to make this game accessible to blind and visually impaired people across the globe.
To learn more or get involved please contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org .