Meet The LGBT-Inclusive Sport Teams You Need In Your Life
From rowing to rugby, there's something for everyone. Yes, even you.
It’s summer, it’s hot, it’s gorgeous and it is time to play outside… if you want to! This year marked the 10th edition of The Gay Games 2018 - a worldwide sporting event where members of the LGBT community promote sexual diversity as gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans athletes compete together. So, what better time to get sporty? In celebration of The Gay Games and Pride season, we thought we’d highlight just a small number of the inclusive sports teams across the UK that anyone can join. And babe, we mean anyone. Yas!
Fancy a challenge? Get inspired by calisthenics queen Simone Ming!
The Bristol Bisons (Rugby Union)
Rugby is currently one of the sports with the most LGBT players in the world, and leads the charge with being the most inclusive sport.
South-West based team the Bristol Bisons (yes, in Bristol) were founded in 2005 after a few players had attended the bi-annual inclusive Rugby Tournament called the Bingham Cup. The team was formed by a few like-minded guys after throwing a ball around in a park. Cute!
Fly half and club manager Lee Penfold has been with the club for nearly eight years, has captained three seasons and is now involved with the coaching and team management side.
He says “It’s progressive, challenging and one of the most rewarding things I have ever been part of. From the Bisons' perspective, we want everyone to be able to play. To create that safe space and to give the sense of belonging and not be judged for who you are. It’s something that makes me immensely proud to be part of."
Wanna be the next Anthony Joshua? Knockout Glasgow can help you on your path. This LGBT boxing club is the place to be if you want to meet new people with similar interests and let off some steam!
Hackney Women’s Football Club
Based in Hackney, East London, this all-women’s football club was formed in 1986 is the first female-run and out lesbian team in London. It’s also the first team to introduce the ‘play fair’ policy - which basically means, girls, we don’t care where you’re from or who you love, just come play.
In 1989 the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) was formed as a social network for football fans across the UK. It’s since formed it’s own national league! You can find a team near your area here.
The LAW Wrestling Club
Originally London based, the London Amateur Wrestling club has moved to Brighton and continues to run training sessions there. They don’t care about your gender, background, religion or sexuality – as long as you’re there to wrestle and have fun! It’s traditional Roman-Greco style, not WWE. So back that singlet and leave your steel chairs at home for this one.
London Otters Rowing Club
Fresh from this year's Gay Games, the London Otters are a rowing club who have men’s teams, women’s teams and mixed teams – and they all look amazing in their lycra outfits. Just saying!
You can join them socially as a friend of the Otters (Frotters) or stick your oar your in and row either on the water or to simply train. In total there over 150 Otters and Frotters a like, but they are a close knit group.
Warwick Lobban, the Otters founder says “Aside from the physical benefits, it has huge mental health benefits affording crew mates the space away from modern life as we leave our phones, devices and problems on the shore and take to the waters as a team to focus on balance and strength through unity.”
There are SO many more inclusive sports teams to check and Out for Sports will tell you the ones in your area. There’s something for everyone, and the key thing is that we’re all welcome.
Words by Chris Jones