Colin Arthur: “It’s nice to know that people can look at me and see that you can feel open and safe.”

There is a well-established inclusive rugby scene in Scotland, but not everyone chooses to go down that route. Clubs like Caledonian Thebans, Glasgow Raptors and Aberdeen Taexali are spaces to encourage people into the game, while still being competitive in their own right. However, if you want to get to the top of the Scottish …

Continue reading Colin Arthur: “It’s nice to know that people can look at me and see that you can feel open and safe.”

Sam Abdulla: “I’d had the best time and I can remember it viscerally, and then I felt like it had been taken away from me.”

Sam Abdulla is proof of the impact inclusive clubs can have on someone’s life. Now chair of the Caledonian Thebans Rugby Club in Edinburgh, the Welshman returned to the sport after over 15 years in Scotland’s capital city having been driven out of the sport as a youngster. Rugby is part of the culture in …

Continue reading Sam Abdulla: “I’d had the best time and I can remember it viscerally, and then I felt like it had been taken away from me.”

Glasgow Raptors and Aberdeen Taexali to enter Bingham Cup

The Bingham Cup is the biggest inclusive rugby tournament in the world. Named after Mark Bingham, an American rugby player who helped found the Gotham Knights but died on one of the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks after fighting on-board with the hijackers, this year is the 20th anniversary of the first edition of …

Continue reading Glasgow Raptors and Aberdeen Taexali to enter Bingham Cup

Rainbow Laces in rugby: “If you actually step back and look at yourselves, you have to question whether you’re doing as much as you can.”

Football is far and away the dominant sport in the UK. As such, that is where most of the sports coverage in the media falls, and also where campaigns like Rainbow Laces are most likely to be visible. However, Rainbow Laces is not just limited to football. Sky Sports have published various articles with people …

Continue reading Rainbow Laces in rugby: “If you actually step back and look at yourselves, you have to question whether you’re doing as much as you can.”

Richard Gilbert: “Rugby helps with my mental health, it’s a real solace, so for me lockdown was real.”

It is the nature of inclusive clubs that had Richard Gilbert ahead of many other newcomers when he first joined the Glasgow Raptors by virtue of purely being a fan of rugby. Of course, he never felt like that was the case. By his own admission, he did not know what he was doing the …

Continue reading Richard Gilbert: “Rugby helps with my mental health, it’s a real solace, so for me lockdown was real.”

Luke Harding: “I definitely feel I wouldn’t have engaged in something like a rugby club without some kind of LGBT+ inclusivity or safeguarding.”

It has been a particularly strange year for Glasgow Raptors chair Luke Harding. Taking over the role after the pandemic had already started, to call it a baptism of fire might be being generous. He has had to deal with matches and tournaments being cancelled, being unable to train for long spells and the risk …

Continue reading Luke Harding: “I definitely feel I wouldn’t have engaged in something like a rugby club without some kind of LGBT+ inclusivity or safeguarding.”

Chris Young: “If a top player comes out, good for him, but when it’s in your face you can see that everyone’s here to play sport at the end of the day, and everyone’s the same on the pitch.”

It should not be a surprise that Chris Young is a rugby player. Growing up in Larne, his dad – a life-long member of the local rugby club – had him playing touch and tag ruby from an early age. He was not allowed to play football at school, where rugby dominated in the form …

Continue reading Chris Young: “If a top player comes out, good for him, but when it’s in your face you can see that everyone’s here to play sport at the end of the day, and everyone’s the same on the pitch.”

Glasgow Raptors: “They can be who they are, and still enjoy sport at the same time.”

The summer of 2021 feels like it will be a fresh start in many ways for the Glasgow Raptors. Based in the part of Scotland hit by the most consistently severe restrictions during the pandemic, their recent return to training has been most welcome after being out of action since summer turned to autumn last …

Continue reading Glasgow Raptors: “They can be who they are, and still enjoy sport at the same time.”

Duncan Petrie: “We don’t like to call ourselves an LGBT+ team, we are an inclusive team, and anyone is welcome to join.”

Duncan Petrie had always wanted to play rugby, he just never saw the opportunity to actually go and do it. That is a perspective that many people within the LGBT+ community may relate to, but in Petrie's case it was as much to do with location as it was his sexuality. Growing up in Alford, …

Continue reading Duncan Petrie: “We don’t like to call ourselves an LGBT+ team, we are an inclusive team, and anyone is welcome to join.”

Cailum Lawson: “A lot of people just don’t think that gay people play sports. We do, and some of us are pretty damn good at it.”

Inclusive clubs are a place where people who have dropped out of sport can return in a welcoming environment. Equally, they can provide a chance for people who have never felt sport could be a place for them to take their first steps. For those who are well-versed in the sport of their choice though, …

Continue reading Cailum Lawson: “A lot of people just don’t think that gay people play sports. We do, and some of us are pretty damn good at it.”