Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour Event to Tackle Sporting Equality
Making Welsh sport truly inclusive will be the focus of a unique event on the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour in Wales next month.
Wales is the first nation in the UK to develop a Government endorsed charter to encourage more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to play sport, and the visit of the Webb Ellis Cup will help to showcase the work taking place across Wales to make sport welcoming, safe and free from discrimination.
An LGBT Sport Network, developed with Stonewall Cymru, has also been established to look at how sport in Wales can continue to make itself inclusive to all sections of society.
As the Webb Ellis Cup makes its way across the UK and Ireland on a 100-day tour, the visit to Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff will see a mini tournament kicked off by international referee Nigel Owens.
The inclusive rugby competition will include gay friendly rugby clubs pitching up for a tag tournament to raise awareness of some of the issues and challenges of making sport inclusive.
“We’re making good progress, but we know we’ve got a long way to go.” commented LGBT sport network chair Michelle Daltry.
“Many people can feel disengaged from sport because of the environment they perceive or some of the experiences they may have had in the past.
“We need to make sure that clubs are welcoming, use the right language to promote themselves and truly embrace giving everyone a chance to take part.
“Sport can improve people’s lives and we are at risk of missing out on getting a huge number of people participating.
“Through its ground-breaking Memorandum Of Understanding with International Gay Rugby, World Rugby has demonstrated its complete commitment to inclusivity and we are delighted to be welcoming the Trophy, an iconic global symbol of sporting inclusivity, to our event.”
Just weeks after forming, the Swansea Vikings inclusive rugby team in Swansea reported 30 players attending training sessions. Only four of those players had played rugby at a club previously.
Sport Wales chief executive Sarah Powell said:
“We realise that it will take significant joint effort to make sport equal for all people in Wales, but we are determined to make sure this becomes a reality because everyone deserves to enjoy sport and all the benefits it brings.
“By ensuring all clubs are more welcoming, we can open up sport to a whole new pool of talented and enthusiastic people who will help boost participation and add so much more to community sport. The Trophy Tour provides the perfect opportunity to highlight and promote this to rugby clubs and other sports.”
The Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour will visit Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff on Thursday July 2 between 9am and 12pm. The mini tournament is closed to the public.
Follow the LGBT sport network on Twitter @LGBTsportcymru.