Sheffield Vulcans, founded in August 2017, is South Yorkshire’s first and only all-inclusive rugby club.

The club was initially set up as part of the Spirit of Rugby Campaign, which launched in 2016. This development initiative, implemented by World Rugby, aimed to mould rugby into a ‘sport for all’, with its key values being integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.

The scope of the proposals also celebrated themes of social inclusion, gender equity, peace building, health and education.

In hopes to redefine the the game of rugby, Sheffield Vulcans welcome players from all backgrounds and identities, celebrating diversity and providing a space where people can play with pride.

The club offers an inclusive environment, one where you can embrace your true self on and off the field. They praise themselves on community ethics and support, offering the space to find mentorship, build friendships and celebrate each other’s individuality.

Sheffield Vulcans stall. Source: Sheffield Vulcans

Homophobia is common within sports, meaning many people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community avoid participating. Nevertheless, Sheffield Vulcans assure that you will receive support and acceptance from the start.

As well as their active contribution to the LGBTQ+ community, they have also raised money for many local charities, supporting queer-led organisations and even hosting the Unofficial Pride After Party in 2019.

They also regularly post on their social channels, drawing attention to World Aids Day, Trans Day of Remembrance and Bisexual visibility week, staying committed to their values.

Sheffield Vulcans RUFC is a proud member of International Gay Rugby (IGR). IGR are a group that work across the world to keep the rugby community connected and supported.

In 2022, after England Rugby proposed the significant reduction in opportunities for transgender women, IGR addressed the transgender and non-binary community and said: “You will always be welcome to play rugby.”

International Gay Rugby Association Logo. Source: International Gay Rugby (IGR)

Sam Biscoe, 37, Chairperson of all-inclusive rugby club Colchester Kings, said: “Teams like ours have allowed access to sport in a way that traditional teams haven’t been able to.

By creating safe spaces for people to come and give rugby a try, it’s given opportunities to those who might have never engaged in sport before.

It’s important to allow a wide range of people access to team sports because it’s proven to increase fitness levels and reduce social isolation.

Being part of a group of people who are like-minded is important as it brings us closer together as a group and improves our game on the field. But not only that, we have found friendships and connections off the field too.”

Colchester Kings was founded in June 2022 and has had huge success. They have over 100 members and have even competed in their first international tournament. The Colchester Kings Chairperson said: “We’re looking forward to heading to Rome in 2024 for the World Cup.”