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World’s first LGBT Rugby League club formed


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#1 John Drake

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

World’s first LGBT Rugby League club formed

The world’s first ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Rugby League club, Manchester Canalsiders, has been officially launched today ( Friday February 1).
To coincide with the start of LGBT history month, Manchester Canalsiders Amateur Rugby League Club have unveiled their plans to create the first ever teams specifically aimed at the LGBT community.
Club founders Stan Sandland, Martin Owens and Kenny Mahoney have outlined their ambitions to set up full-contact male and female teams, alongside a mixed touch rugby team, aimed at making their competitive debuts in 2014.
The Canalsiders have a full calendar of plans in place for the 2013 season dedicated to developing skills and training programmes and building up a team of supporters through try-it sessions, training, fundraising and social outings to Rugby League matches such as Magic Weekend and the Rugby League World Cup in October and November.
“We all love the fast pace and excitement of the game and were inspired by the work the RFL and the clubs have done around LGBT inclusion to set up the first LGBT Rugby League club,” said Manchester Canalsiders Chairman Martin Owens.
“We hope that the Manchester Canalsiders will help raise the profile of the sport among the LGBT communities and that more gay and trans people will take part in this fantastic sport as players, coaches, volunteers and supporters.
“Our club motto is One For All, as our club will be fully inclusive to all members of our LGBT community, so whether you want to play or just get fit with likeminded people we look forward to welcoming you to our club.”
RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams said: “The RFL is delighted to support the Manchester Canalsiders in providing a unique opportunity for LGBT people to get involved in our sport. We hope that the club will go from strength to strength and that their work contributes to the RFL commitment to ensure our game is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.”
Lou Englefield, from Pride Sports said: "Pride Sports is delighted to support the UK's newest LGBT sports club, Manchester Canalsiders RLFC. It's fantastic to see a growing diversity of sports offered within the LGBT community. I'm sure the club can expect a great welcome from the RFL and the Rugby League family, who have been championing the campaign against homophobia in sport for a couple of years now.”
If you would like to get involved with and support the Manchester Canalsiders follow them on Twitter @MCRCanalsiders or Facebook www.facebook.com/MCRCanalsiders
or email at info@canalsiders.co.uk

John Drake
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Email: john.drake@totalrl.com


#2 Johnoco

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

That's good stuff. :)

#3 Simon Hall

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

Let's hope the "C" never falls off the club badge...

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#4 gingerjon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

World’s first LGBT Rugby League club formed

The world’s first ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Rugby League club, Manchester Canalsiders, has been officially launched today ( Friday February 1).
To coincide with the start of LGBT history month, Manchester Canalsiders Amateur Rugby League Club have unveiled their plans to create the first ever teams specifically aimed at the LGBT community.
Club founders Stan Sandland, Martin Owens and Kenny Mahoney have outlined their ambitions to set up full-contact male and female teams, alongside a mixed touch rugby team, aimed at making their competitive debuts in 2014.
The Canalsiders have a full calendar of plans in place for the 2013 season dedicated to developing skills and training programmes and building up a team of supporters through try-it sessions, training, fundraising and social outings to Rugby League matches such as Magic Weekend and the Rugby League World Cup in October and November.
“We all love the fast pace and excitement of the game and were inspired by the work the RFL and the clubs have done around LGBT inclusion to set up the first LGBT Rugby League club,” said Manchester Canalsiders Chairman Martin Owens.
“We hope that the Manchester Canalsiders will help raise the profile of the sport among the LGBT communities and that more gay and trans people will take part in this fantastic sport as players, coaches, volunteers and supporters.
“Our club motto is One For All, as our club will be fully inclusive to all members of our LGBT community, so whether you want to play or just get fit with likeminded people we look forward to welcoming you to our club.”
RFL Equality and Diversity Manager Sarah Williams said: “The RFL is delighted to support the Manchester Canalsiders in providing a unique opportunity for LGBT people to get involved in our sport. We hope that the club will go from strength to strength and that their work contributes to the RFL commitment to ensure our game is truly inclusive and welcoming to all.”
Lou Englefield, from Pride Sports said: "Pride Sports is delighted to support the UK's newest LGBT sports club, Manchester Canalsiders RLFC. It's fantastic to see a growing diversity of sports offered within the LGBT community. I'm sure the club can expect a great welcome from the RFL and the Rugby League family, who have been championing the campaign against homophobia in sport for a couple of years now.”
If you would like to get involved with and support the Manchester Canalsiders follow them on Twitter @MCRCanalsiders or Facebook www.facebook.com/MCRCanalsiders
or email at info@canalsiders.co.uk


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#5 Northern Sol

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

Nice choice of name.

#6 WearyRhino

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:34 PM

Superb stuff!

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#7 southstand loiner

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:46 PM

everyone should be welcome in our game as far as i am concerned so welcome to them
ah a sunday night in front of the telly watching old rugby league games.
does life get any better .

#8 Ackroman

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

RL has an excellent reputation in being a sport for all creeds and colours so why do we applaud the formation of a club aimed at attracting LGBT's? I though RL was well thought of by Stonewall?

RL is not the place for any personal or minority crusade, we don't have clubs looking to attract whites only, blacks only or "so and so" only. Just go and play RL if you want.

The piece on ITV4 regarding Gareth Thomas just showed how his fear was unfounded when he came out so why form a club that hints at a problem that doesn't exist?

#9 tw15

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

Didn't there used to be a Leeds team for the jewish community? The Canalsiders said they'd welcome anyone - I don't think there's a test to check which way you swing

#10 Johnoco

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

Many gay people, wrongly as it happens, may well be fans of the game but assume it is not somewhere they would be accepted or whatever. They aren't highlighting a problem but just showing others that they are welcome and will be treated as equals. (unless they support Leeds of course)

#11 Northern Sol

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

RL has an excellent reputation in being a sport for all creeds and colours so why do we applaud the formation of a club aimed at attracting LGBT's? I though RL was well thought of by Stonewall?

RL is not the place for any personal or minority crusade, we don't have clubs looking to attract whites only, blacks only or "so and so" only. Just go and play RL if you want.

The piece on ITV4 regarding Gareth Thomas just showed how his fear was unfounded when he came out so why form a club that hints at a problem that doesn't exist?


I'm applauding the formation of a new RL side in Manchester. There aren't very many so the more the better.

#12 Gregory Peccary

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

Best of luck to the Canalsiders. Welcome to the rugby league family from a Salford City Reds fan.

#13 Pottsy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:52 PM

Best of luck folks!

#14 sgorpioncaerdyddrob

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

There's plenty other LGBT Rugby League clubs, they just don't label themselves as such. I am surprised there's still anyone that thinks gay people wouldn't be interested/ any good at playing rugby,....

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