Flutter Entertainment pledge £500k to Mixed Ability Sports
Following on from last weekend’s dramatic Rugby World Cup Final, Flutter Entertainment is pleased to announce a three-year partnership worth c.£500,000 with International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) – the champion of Mixed Ability sports and the creator of the International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament (IMART) – to help accelerate its scale and impact around the world.
IMAS is a UK-based, not-for-profit organisation which has developed and champions the Mixed Ability model, pioneering social inclusion through sport and education. Mixed Ability encourages those facing obstacles to participation – including people with physical and learning disabilities – to take part in community sports as equals alongside non-disabled participants, without being separated or labelled.
Over the course of the partnership, Flutter’s contribution will go toward achieving IMAS’ strategic targets, which involve growing their presence to within 30 countries worldwide; positively impacting 275,000 Mixed Ability participants; and increasing the amount of Mixed Ability clubs to 225. Flutter will also support IMAS’ transition toward a social franchise model, whereby national affiliated entities operate under a new global parent organisation.
Kerry McNally, Group Head of Communities at Flutter Entertainment, said: “The IMAS model represents a radical approach to societal transformation through sport and much like our own workplace culture, aims to create a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment for people to achieve their full potential. This strong alignment underpinned our decision to deepen our partnership with IMAS, and we look forward to our colleagues working with them to deliver real global impact.”
Martino Corazza, Co-founder and Director of IMAS, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with Flutter, an organisation who shares our commitment to make a positive, long-lasting difference in the communities we serve. This partnership is based on people, the best asset both of our organisations have. We are at a crucial stage of our international growth with some incredible projects in South America, Canada and across Europe. The skills and experience of Flutter’s teams will be invaluable in enabling the sustainable growth of the Mixed Ability model.”
IMAS has undergone considerable development since its inception in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 2014. Born out of the dream of a young man with cerebral palsy and learning disabilities to play full-contact rugby, IMAS began to create opportunities for other people excluded from mainstream sports activities. Now, the movement has grown to include over 5,000 players across 100 Mixed Ability rugby clubs worldwide, and across rowing, boxing, squash, basketball and other sports.
This partnership is the latest initiative linked to Flutter’s global sustainability strategy – the Positive Impact Plan. Under its community focused ‘Do More’ pillar, this includes an ambitious target of improving the lives of 10m people by 2030, specifically through the areas of sports, technology, and health and wellbeing.