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.”

Nick Heath: “On the whole, people are ready to say it’s whether you’re getting them a beer that they’re worried about, not their sexuality, and I’m happy with that.”

Nick Heath is an established voice in rugby broadcasting, having worked on World Cups, Six Nations and Premiership matches. But in lockdown, he has gone viral through his Life Commentaries and pub quizzes as well as putting plans together to continue his Cue Commentator podcast.