An inclusive rugby union team in York are looking to support LGBT equality in sport.
The York Templars are a York RI RUFC associated and International Gay Rugby (IGR) affiliated club.
They formed in earlier this year and June, after the York pride committee were approached by England Rugby with a vision to create an inclusive team within the city.
Preceding these meetings, the local England Rugby team attended York Pride to help promote the new opportunities and increase awareness.
Following the Pride event, a series of six rugby training sessions, hosted by York RI RUFC and coached by England Rugby coaches, were organised.
Evan Woodworth, RFU Community Rugby Coach, said: “Succeeding the six-week training sessions and with 26 different people attending, the team decided to carry on training throughout the summer on a weekly basis to develop their rugby skills.”
The club have received support from York RI RUFC with two coaches from the club now carrying out the weekly roles and further developing the players.
The York RI Templars played their first development match on October 19 against neighbouring IGR Team, the Leeds Hunters, which they unfortunately lost.
Dave Carr, Chairman of the inclusive rugby club, spoke of the determination to end discrimination in sport. He said that sport has always been a grey area for LGBT people. Stonewall has recently published a study that shows four in 10 LGBT people do not think sport welcoming. He added that having a team in York where everyone is accepted is a big step for the city to combat these issues.
Joining York Templar has helped some of its current players to overcome previous issues, including Jon Bramhall. He said that when he joined, he was suffering from anxiety and hoped that the exercise and challenge of learning a new skill would help him in life.
The York Templars train every Monday from 7 – 8.30pm at York RI RUFC.