Preston-based Typhoons RUFC – Lancashire’s first inclusive rugby team – celebrated their fifth anniversary in January.Advertisement
Typhoons RUFC, established in 2018, was set up with the goal of attracting more LGBTQ+ people to participate in sports. The club has since attracted over 80 members across its Rugby Union and Touch Ruby teams which train each week at Preston Grasshoppers.
Lawrence Howard, Club President and Founder said: “6 years ago, it was taken as given that gay and inclusive rugby could only work in large metropolitan cities. But we set out to challenge that view and 5-years after only 5 people responded to an article in the Evening Post, I can honestly say, I would do it all again in a heartbeat”
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In addition to weekly training and matches the club has played an active role within the community, attending pride events, and raising money for local charities.
Head Coach of the Typhoons, Duncan Ryan said: “It isn’t just about the ‘on the pitch’ stuff, it is everything the club stands for and nurtures. I’ve learnt more about myself as a person and a coach, than I ever thought I would.”
During the pandemic the club was successful in attracting funding from Comic Relief’s LGBTQ+ Covid-19 Recovery Fund, allowing the players to engage with a range of mental and physical health services during a time when the team were otherwise unable to meet and train.
The team was successful in winning the IGR Northern Development League in its 2021/2022 season and has since been promoted to the IGR Northern League Tier 1 where the team is currently contending for second place.
In 2022, the Typhoons won at the National Diversity Awards which were set up to recognise groups who have made an outstanding contribution to their local community. The team also later went on to win “Club of the Year” at the Preston and Active Lancashire Sports Awards and was a finalist in the ‘Together Award’ category at the BBC Make a Difference Awards
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Chris Goulding, club chair said: “For many of our teammates, our weekly training sessions are an opportunity to be themselves, to get in shape and to build a support network.”
“Being a Typhoon is more than just being a sports club. It is about being an active and positive role model in the community.”
“We have only been able to achieve the things we have because of the support of dedicated volunteers, the generosity of amazing local businesses, the kindness of Lancashire’s communities and the belief and participation of our members.”
Typhoons RUFC are currently recruiting new members for their Rugby Union and Touch Rugby teams and encourage welcome experienced and non-experienced players from all strands of diversity.
Keep up with the Typhoons on their socials:
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