What started when six friends met in a bar in north London in 1995, with the idea of forming a gay-inclusive rugby team, has since turned into a club with over 150 members and three teams.
The first all-gay rugby team celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and one of the early players to join the Kings Cross Steelers Mark Bithell has told CNN that he was overcome by a sense of his own masculinity when his side first lined up against a straight side.
For much of his life, the British lawyer had been told that being gay somehow made him less of a man. Yet standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his gay teammates, he felt liberated. On the sports pitch, at least, the ultimate judge of muscle wasn’t sexuality — it was the scoreline.
“I think I probably had a little bit of an inferiority complex growing up,” said the 41-year-old, as he watched 70 young men train under the bright lights of an east London pitch on a crisp evening.
“So I really enjoyed playing rugby against straight men, with my gay teammates, because for me it kind of proved that we were just as masculine as they were — that we can be just as physical as they are.”
NZ Falcons Looking For A New Coach
Closer to home and the NZ’s only gay & inclusive rugby team Auckland is looking for a new coach.
The NZ Falcons Captain Jeremy Brankin wants to get the word out there to find someone who might be interested in taking over the role from Ray Pye following his retirement.
“Currently, we are on the hunt for a new coach for 2016, with our former coach retiring at the end of the 2015 season,” Brankin explained.
“It is no easy task finding a coach.”
If you are interested in the role or wish to find out more information contact Jeremy on [email protected] or 022 0529180 (NZ number).
Last Updated on Jan 21, 2016
The news team for Gay Nation love tips from our readers. Got tips or a news story that you would like published? Go here to tell us something.
Visit the Gay Nation store Now