The Newcastle Ravens, the North East's only inclusive rugby team, are coming together in October to mark the anniversary of International Gay Rugby (IGR).
IGR is an organisation of member clubs of primarily gay and inclusive rugby clubs.
In October 2020, IGR will be 20 years old and to mark this milestone, it is launching a year-long celebration, including, events, challenges and initiatives which will launch with the IGR #prideinrugby Anniversary weekend, 4-6th October 2019, in the middle of the Rugby World Cup.
As reigning North League champions, Newcastle Ravens are celebrating the launch with a special training session led by Tamara Taylor of England and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks.
Tamara is an ambassador for rugby, she has represented her country for 14 years, and remains the third highest capped player for England with 115 test caps. Tamara said: "I was involved with the Ravens a decade ago when I was a community coach in the area and the team was in its early years. "It's great to see them still going strong and being very successful in the IGR Northern League. "I'm looking forward to meeting the new crop of players at the training session, but also hopefully seeing some old faces from first time round."
The Ravens and IGR recently came out in strong support of former Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, who by talking openly about his HIV diagnosis has helped smash misinformation and stigma about the condition.
James McKane, Newcastle Ravens Chairman, said: "I think Gareth's story shows why it's important to have inclusive rugby clubs which provide a safe, non-judgemental space for players. "We recently welcomed around 20 new members following a successful summer bootcamp, and are able to field a second team for the first time. "That shows just how rugby brings people from all walks of life together, which is central to the IGR message and movement."
The Ravens's #prideinrugby celebration will take place at 1400 hrs at Percy Park Rugby Club, Preston Avenue, North Shields, NE30 2BE on Sunday, 6th October.
For more information contact: James McKane (07986 711979) or Robin Davies (07967 052542)