THE BARBARIANS, who were founded in Bradford, have stepped in to help the Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament (MARWT), which will be held in the city in August.

International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS) have announced that famous nomadic invitational club's charitable trust has donated £5,000 to the inaugural tournament.

More than 400 players – with and without disabilities – will come together from ten countries in the lead up to the England 2015 Rugby World Cup.

IMAS, whose role is to promote and expand the mixed ability model, which was kick-started by the Bingley-based Bumble Bees Barbarians, encourages social inclusion by mixing able-bodied and disabled players in the same full contact, 15-a-side rugby union game.

Mixed ability rugby union has been championed across Yorkshire since the formation of the Bumble Bees – England's fist mixed ability side – in 2009.

Bumbles players with learning and physical disabilities have already been instrumental in the setting up three new teams – two in West Yorkshire and one in Ireland.

The players are working with IMAS to lead a two year national roll-out in partnership with England Rugby and the Workers’ Educational Association aimed at creating 20 new mixed ability rugby sides across the country, and promoting the first international federation of mixed ability rugby clubs – Ability Rugby International.

IMAS director and international co-ordinator Martino Corazza said: “We are very grateful for this generous donation from the Barbarians.

"It makes us feel incredibly proud to be supported by the Baa-baas – a true legend in the rugby world family.

"We want to emphasise the fact that the Barbarians were founded in Bradford like us, and with the Baa-baas' 125th anniversary coming up, the MARWT event will celebrate the founding principles we all draw upon: good fellowship, respect and enjoyment of rugby for all, no matter who you are or where you come from."

Corazza added: “The Barbarians' donation will allow us to secure hospitality to those delegations coming from socially-disadvantaged situations or with economic restraints, in particular the Serbian mixed ability team, who are entirely reliant on donations, with little or no state provision for their disabled players.

"The Serbian coach Petar Stani? recently turned down a coaching role with the national side in order to continue his voluntary work with the integrated team.

"The support of the Barbarians will help us in raising the profile of the tournament, furthering provision of rugby for all and showing a wider audience that rugby is a powerful means for social change."

A crowd-funding campaign has just been launched in order to provide accommodation at Bradford University for the overseas visitors.

For more information on IMAS, and how to support the event, visit