It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for: the Champions League and the Rugby World Cup are playing out in beautiful unison, and sports fans across the world (myself included) simply don’t know where to look.
Unsurprisingly, this particular rubbing of shoulders prompts all of the familiar debates: rugby vs football; football vs rugby. And so on and so forth until everyone’s too drunk to go on any longer.
Now – don’t get me wrong: I’m a football fan through and through. However, watching the games side by side, one thing does strike me – and that is that Rugby is by far the more inclusive and hospitable of the two.
Whereas footballers will often act out against their teammates in pursuit of the limelight, rugby players seem consistently focused on helping their team and working together as part of a group.
Take, for example, the Manchester Village Spartans: an English Rugby team that takes particular inspiration from the sport’s spirit of inclusivity and community. One of two predominantly gay teams in the UK, the Spartans dedicate much of their time and energy towards promoting equality and inclusivity – both on and off the pitch.
A new RFU-produced short follows the team in their various efforts to promote equality and inclusivity in their local community.
The film documents the team as they hit the town in full rugby attire, where they seek to recruit members and supporters for the team from local pubs and nightclubs – regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or ability.
The team are also seen rallying at Manchester’s local Pride march, where they seek to dispel any prejudices against the inclusion of LGBT individuals in the sporting community.
Watch the video below and follow the team as they seek to hammer home the message that - regardless of who you are - Rugby is for you.
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