A new rugby initiative is seeking expressions of interest from people of all walks of life who may be interested in setting up an LGBTQ+ rugby team in North Munster.
Clare native Gearóid Folan is the driving force behind a group that hope to establish ‘Sarsfields RFC’. He has set up a website and social media platforms inviting people in the mid-west to have their say on what kind of rugby team they might like to be a part of.
The group will be taking part in the Limerick Pride Parade this Saturday, where they will be joined by Munster Rugby and IRFU staff, to encourage people to find out more and to underline that there is always a place for them in rugby.
Everyone is invited to express their interest as a player, coach or volunteer on the website www.sarsfieldsrfc.ie. No previous rugby experience of any kind is required.
Inclusivity is one of the core values of Irish and Muster Rugby and every club affiliated to the IRFU and Muster remains committed to being inclusive of everyone in their community. Accordingly, the expression of interest form also includes an option to be redirected to a designated contact in an existing rugby club.
Gearóid plays rugby with Young Munster and is also a referee with the Munster Association of Referees. He studies Business with Sports Management in TUS and is the founding president of his university’s LGBTQ+ society.
“I play for Young Munsters and I’m openly gay and I know from experience that rugby clubs are committed to inclusivity,” said Gearóid.
“The idea of Sarsfields RFC is to develop something for people who might need that extra option in order to be themselves, or to bring people looking together, or who are looking for friends similar to themselves.
“I know several gay people who played rugby for years when they were younger and they have left the game.
“We were also inspired by what Cork Hellhounds are doing for their community. They have a core group of players who have been given a welcome opportunity to avail of the health, wellbeing and team spirit that sport provides.
“We want to find out if a similar team would be welcome by the LGBTQ+ community in North Munster.”
If you would like to express your interest in being part of an inclusive team in the mid-west, please log onto www.sarsfieldsrfc.ie.
Contact details for IRFU Disability & Inclusion Officer David McKay and the four provincial Spirit of Rugby officers are available here.